Ledaig 2005 11 Years Old (Single Malts of Scotland)
How about Ledaig? This heavily peated whisky produced at Tobermory distillery is gaining a lot of popularity, especially young-ish sherry matured expressions, like this Ledaig 2005 11 Years Old from Single Malts of Scotland.
Ledaig is often dubbed the new Ardbeg, something that I believe was started by Serge Valentin. Apparently that helped raise awareness, because Ledaig has been quite excellent for a while now. Not just the official bottlings, but also the young ex-bourbon expressions from independent bottlers. Those were making waves before the sherry matured expressions even.
Ledaig 2005 11 Years Old (56,8%, Single Malts of Scotland, C#900161)
Nose: Sherry influence aside, this is recognizable Ledaig spirit. The fresh peat and the sauerkraut. Plenty of vanilla too. And it works great with the sherry, which is intertwined and balanced rather than dominant. Cherries, blackcurrant jam and cigar tobacco, as well as oranges.
Taste: Sweet brown sugar, candied cherries and barbecue smoke, as well as soot, tar and plenty of peat. A pinch of pepper and a whiff of burnt matches.
Finish: Big on the peat smoke, with a sweet sherry touch. Long.
Big and bold, not for the fainthearted. It strikes a good balance between the peaty Ledaig-spirit and the influence from the sherry butt. I like this one just a little bit better than the other Ledaig recently released by Single Malts of Scotland.
Sample provided by Speciality Drinks
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.