Ledaig 12 2008 Amarone Cask Finish

Another Ledaig? Sure, another Ledaig.

For a distillery I consistently mention as being too expensive and that I have to get over because it’s hard to find, I certainly have been reviewing it a bunch, eh? I’m a peat head, what can I say.

So I’m a hypocrite, we’ve cemented that, however with whisky bars only now bouncing back, vacations no longer being a thing, I’m left going through my samples at home. Granted I also said that after having a tasting and right before I post a tasting from a whisky bar I went to, so perhaps I’m just being a whiny little so and so.

So, Ledaig 12 2008 Amarone Cask Finish is an OB release (“Daring today aren’t we”) that was aged in what I assume was in ex-Bourbon casks and then finished in Amarone cask(s). Given the amount of bottles and lack of the words “single cask” being used, I think we can fairly assume it’s a vatting.

I’ve never had a Ledaig in an Amarone cask. Heck, this is only the third Amarone cask whisky I’ve ever had. Not to mention the other ones were an Octomore and an Arran, so I’m splitting the difference at this point.

Let’s see how it is, shall we?

Price: £115

Region: Island

Vintage: December 2008

Bottled: December 2020

Cask type: Amarone Cask Finish

Number of bottles: 2629

Abv: 57.5%

Colour: 2.5Y 8/8

Nose: Chocolate, banana bread, blackberry, caramel, white cake

Sweet, some earth, peat has gone to chocolate flavours, some tart from the wine cask, and a bit of funk mixed with cereal and tropical fruit.

So what we have on the nose is a good balance between the peated whisky and the strong wine cask notes. If I had to guess I’d say the finish was the right decision, as even a bit is giving me some strong wine note vibes.

Taste: Banana funk, caramel, ginger lemon cookie

More funk, like good music, and then a lot of interesting, complex sweet notes going on. Spice/heat, acidity, and sweet with some butter.

So exactly what I’m looking for. I have no idea what the wine cask did here.

Finish: Banana funk, brine, cinnamon heart, BBQ meat

Long finish, and we’re basically talking about a standard profile for a good Ledaig, which is meaty, funk, brine, and strong spice notes. Which I like, and I’m happy there’s more out there to try.

Conclusion: Like eating a dessert made by James Brown, this is funky and sweet and there’s screaming involved and perhaps a long period of pantomime (okay, maybe not those last two things).

On the one hand, understand that I’m a huge Ledaig fan. I like funk, I like peat, and I’ve had some really good ones. This tastes like a standard, quality Ledaig that you’d purchase and enjoy if you like those things.

If I have to point it out, the Amarone cask finish helps the nose and then leaves like it’s a satiated panda that just shot someone. There’s little, if anything I can see it doing beyond a normal Ledaig. Maybe the extra time helped? Maybe they hoped it would help and were happy with the nose? Who knows.

Try or get this if you like Ledaig, ignore the name.

85/100

Scotch review #1513, Island review #167, Whisky Network review #2220

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