In the latest sample pack I got from Specialty Drinks there were two Ledaigs. Today’s 12 year old and an 11 year old in a sherry cask that I’ll get to reviewing in the next few days.
Ledaig was actually the original name of the Tobermory distillery has been producing it’s dual brand since 2007, when Burn Stewart Distillers rolled it out, from peated stock they distilled after taking over in 1993. The brand has been doing well ever since. But the distillery had a tumultuous history, and has been mothballed for a total of 97 years. I wonder if we might add together the two years it’s now closed for renovation, and celebrate a distillery that overcame almost a century of mothballing.
Specialty Drinks Single Malts of Scotland Ledaig 12 Year Old 2004, Cask 1030, Yield 327 Bottles (58.1% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Hay, very slow legs coming off a sturdy, albeit thin.
Nose: Fully leaded at 58.1%, you’ll want to wait before sticking your nose into the glass. It smells somewhat younger than 12, with a hint of floral new make, signature Ledaig burnt rubber, a burnt out wooden match and hint of cigar ash (without the cigar itself). Hints of vanilla and honey in the background. I’m taking my time with it before adding water. Allowed to rest for a few minutes, it will go maritime on you with the beach and a distant bonfire. Some water sharpens the honey and the spice, and some time brings out some sour notes.
Palate: Sweet and spicy in a full and intensive mouth feel. This needs to be toned down a bit before really figuring it out. With a bit of water, pepper and peat in warm honey. I enjoyed the palate best after the third drizzle of water, so you have some leeway with it.
Linger: Thick honey with peat and molasses running down the gullet. Somewhat floral, with that light saltiness. The tongue stays coated with sweetness, although at the point your palate will enjoy it most, the long finish will be more ashy peat.
You can have a lot of fun with this one, as it has a long way to go with water from the 58% it has. Each time you add a little, the peat and honey play a different game. Fun dram, I’m surprised you can still get bottles.