Produced at Tobermory distillery, the popularity of Ledaig has risen admirably in the last five years or so. However, this is largely due to independent bottlings (lots of them from the Signatory Vintage warehouses) and less the result of efforts by owner Distell—even though they did come up with their own light-version of Diageo’s Special Releases.
Ledaig’s popularity is also largely based on younger single malts—most of them ranging from 10 to 12 years old—than the one we’re trying today. That’s child’s play compared to the 24-year-old release from the WhiskyNerds. But fans of young Ledaig should think twice about shelling out for an older release of their favourite malt, because in my experience these vintages from the 1990s don’t share much similarities. They’re much more comparable to Tobermory from the same decade.
Nose: More Tobermory than Ledaig, this is fresh yet rather dirty, musty and with a tinge of copper coins. And a nice minerality to boot. Also damp leaves and reminiscent of a somewhat yeasty dunnage warehouse. It has an uncharacteristic waxy quality, as well as a tinge of fermented apples, pears, melted butter and a whiff of eucalyptus. Taste: Creamy mouthfeel. A rather chalky and earthy arrival with a nice herbal influence and some mint. As subdued as the peat was on the nose, it certainly is noticeable here—but very subtle still. A hint of cherry pit and some pine needles. There’s a fruity veneer of bitter lemon zest, orange rind and even some pink grapefruit. Finish: Soft spices and more vibrant fruits.
A single malt that improves with each sip. I suspect this isn’t a crowd pleaser, but it has much to offer and discover. I’m usually not Tobermory’s biggest champion and haven’t tasted that many in the last few years. However, this pick by the WhiskyNerds leaves me wanting more. Still available at The Old Pipe, but I don’t suspect for long.