If you are a fan of peated whisky and you have not tried a Ledaig yet then I strongly suggest that you do. I am not huge fan of peated whisky but I do keep a bottle of peated malt in my cabinet for when I get the urge for something smoky. I have grown to appreciate peated whisky over time as I try more bottles – I think this is mainly due to my taste buds getting used to the flavours. Another thing that has changed over time for me is that I am reaching out for independent bottles rather than going for official bottlings. This is mainly due to the fact that I have tried at least one or two malts from each distilleries core range and as a result feel more confident with my bearings when it comes to what I am looking for in terms of flavour. Also, you can get a bargain by going for an indie bottle if you are willing to take a calculated risk. I really liked the 10 year old Ledaig and found the 18 year old to be fine but not worth the money. There isn’t anything in between in their core range at this moment in time so when I came across this G&M bottle of Ledaig at about 13 year old and at cask strength for £65 I thought it was worth taking a calculated risk.
Whisky: Ledaig 2004 Gordon & Machphail Cask Strength Single Malt, bottled 2017. 55.5%
Nose: Damp leaves, lavendar, heather, honey, toffee, sea salt, lemon, seaweed
Taste: Lemon, malt, chocolate, chilli, black pepper, honey, coffee, roasted nuts
Finish: Dry, chilli pepper, mocha
Summary: This is very busy on the nose and contains those signature floral and coastal notes that I got with the 10 year old. Due to its strength this one needs a drop of water. I found the flavours too concentrated without it. I found much of the same notes on the taste but with the addition of spice, chocolate and roasted nuts which then leads onto a mocha taste. The spice takes away from that freshness I got with the 10 year old which made it a little less enjoyable. The signature notes are there and this is still an enjoyable peated malt. I am not disappointed by this purchase because at 55.5% I get a lot of scope to play around with this one and find the right balance for me. I have not found it yet but am certain I will.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com