Ledaig

Ledaig 12 Years Old Discovery (43%, Gordon & MacPhail, 2018)

Whisky Review: Ledaig 12 Years Old Discovery

Ledaig-12-Year-Old-Discover-GM

What they say

As an introduction to our portfolio, Discovery is curated to offer an utterly dependable and consistent choice of our finest single malt whiskies.

Each expression sits within the bold flavour profiles of either ‘Sherry’, ‘Smoky’, or ‘Bourbon’, making these single malts the perfect match for the whisky-lover who enjoys exploration through flavour and character.

Distilled at Tobermory distillery this smoky Ledaig spirit has been matured in a mixture of sherry and bourbon casks for a minimum of 12 years. Bottled at 43% as part of the Discovery Range August 2018 release.

Official tasting notes:

  • Aroma: Peat smoke opens to reveal notes of maple cured meat, toffee, and baked apples. Seaside grasses aromas linger and finish in a gentle briny edge.
  • Taste: Stewed fruits, sultanas, and currants with milk chocolate flavours combine with crème brûlée. Sweet toffee is complemented by bursts of citrus and a smouldering bonfire ember edge.
  • Finish: Lingering oak slowly fades to reveal soft hints of citrus.

What I say

Celebrating 50 years of Connoisseurs Choice with Gordon & MacPhail, this sample was provided as part of the 50th celebration pack. Heralding the new Discovery Range which presents whisky matured in either Bourbon cask, Sherry cask or with the influence of peat Smoke.

This expression was distilled at Tobermory distillery on Mull using peated barley to produce Ledaig spirit filled into ex-Sherry & ex-Bourbon casks by Gordon & MacPhail. Matured for 12 years this has been bottled at 43% ABV.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: White burgundy / pale gold (4/20), slow, oily, medium tears, fine legs.
  • Nose: Salty and smoky, bbq meat (un-marinated), beech-smoked pork/bacon, frazzles, there is a little sulphury egg custard sweetness behind it, sea buckthorn, vanilla, fresh linen and biscuity malt, toasted/caramelised marshmallow.
  • Taste: Creamy vanilla then zesty fruits, fresh lime juice on bananas, creamy toffee and light chocolate notes get blown away with a puff of dry cigarette smoke, dry oak wood, smoked salted almondy bananas, that Ledaig weirdness really kicks in right about here – but the whole thing is just held together by a nice creamy sweetness of condensed milk throughout.
  • Finish: Sweet vanilla, ash, lime, banana, almond…

Overall

For me Ledaig can be brilliant and on a par with Ardbeg with the first sip and like drinking out of stale beer can used as an ashtray from the party the night before the next. This is one of the great ones, and mostly thanks to Gordon & MacPhail’s excellent cask management here. The Sherry influence isn’t overt but just an addition of dried fruit, nut and tannin in the right places to carry this expression. The end result is actually quite amazing.

Score 85/100

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