Ledaig 12 Years Old Discovery (Gordon & MacPhail)
When Gordon & MacPhail overhauled their Connoiseurs Choice’ collection last year, they introduced a sort of entry level range, called ‘Discovery’. It acts as an introduction to the independents bottler extensive portfolio, with each expression sitting in one of the flavour profiles of either Sherry, Smoky or Bourbon.
Today’s whisky sits firmly in the Smoky camp, as Ledaig is the heavily peated single malt produced at Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. With prices of peated Islay malt rising to near unaffordable levels, many peat enthusiasts have turned their attention to Ledaig, and rightfully so.
Ledaig 12 Years Old Discovery (43%, Gordon & MacPhail, 2018)
Nose: Hints of sauerkraut and ripe banana, with a whiff of seaweed, but also vibrant citrus fruits and vanilla. A touch of sweet cookie dough as well. Oh, and of course pretty smoky. Think charcoal and wood smoke. The balance is top notch.
Taste: Salty with hints of olive brine, but also fudge and milk chocolate. Plenty of peat smoke, as well as a touch of tar and licorice. Hints of vanilla and banana, and a subtle spiciness (nutmeg and pepper). Nice creamy mouthfeel too.
Finish: Lingering ashes and lime.
Not much to fault here. Balanced, enough complexity and definitely Ledaig. Peat heads only drinking Ardbeg and Laphroaig should really dare to venture to the Isle of Mull.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.