Thanks to /u/devoz for the sample poured as part of the “end of year” tasting we had. It’s in quotes as we didn’t mean the end of the lunar year, which we were also late for, thus I haven’t properly explained the quotes. To the next subject!
As it’s our “special” tasting for the year, and we’re mostly made up of peat heads, peat is happening. It used to be more of a mainstay, but… well, you’ve seen how the economy is going.
Up first was Ledaig 19 2001 The Whisky Agency Heads & Tails, Canada, a single cask bottling of Ledaig that was aged in a hogshead (assumed to be ex-bourbon given colour and lack of descriptor) and at cask strength.
As one of the peat heads, I’m in. Ledaig has gone from that whisky we purchased because Islays of decent age were going up in price to that peated whisky that also now goes up in price and it is also nice and dirty. Aging is fun.
Now that I’ve taken a break to scream into the void and cry a bit, let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: $305.00 CAD
Cask type: Hogshead
Colour: 5Y 9/3
Nose: Anise, dry grass, charcoal, bread dough, chocolate chips
Grassy, cleaner than I expected (no real funk to it beyond a bit of yeast), some earth/charcoal note and chocolate chips. It’s not overly sweet, and very interesting. I’ve mentioned chocolate and anise used in sweets from Nordic countries before, but this has that vibe, and I’m all for it.
That’s how you use vibe, right? I’m old.
Taste: Lime, mineral, muddy, chocolate pudding, salt
Take a good chocolate pudding. Not one of those flavour sugar pots that you brought to school as part of lunch. They suck compared to this. I’m talking homemade or restaurant made and made with love and not the shit we normally have. I’m talking shit you should put in your body. If it’s shit and you don’t need it just to get through the day, save for something better.
Got a little political there, my meds are waning, give me a second.
So you have this rich, thick chocolate pudding, with salt, some earth, some mineral, and some acidity. It’s dirtier than the nose would have you believe, but not “this has body odour notes” or “wow hope you like blue cheese” flavours, more like “lots of earth” dirty way.
Feel free to use that on your dating profile.
Finish: Chocolate pudding, brisket, apple, mineral, shrimp crackers
More good pudding, some strong meat notes, and fruit/brine elements. Salty, the brine doesn’t quite hit that insane amount I’ve associated with other, old peated whiskies (and certainly not gotten into long drawn out wastes of conversation discussing). But the brine is strong enough here. Nothing feels too strong or out of place.
Conclusion: Muddy, chocolate, and salty. Very tasty. It’s a very, very solid Ledaig. I miss some of the funk, I won’t lie, and this is quite a cleaner Ledaig compared to others. Maybe that’s the way it is now, or maybe it’s just this cask.
Does this live up to the hype of the other whiskies at the tasting? Easily. It’s a fun, dirty, messy whisky. It’s going against the soap based whisky we had and I’m still in a good mood. It’d be a perfect addition to any Ledaig fans lineup, and if you have the cash, it’s a must buy.
Scotch review #1539, Island review #169, Whisky Network review #2259