As dependable as Ledaig is, it is surprising that it is produced at Tobermory distillery. Their unpeated whisky is (to me at least) the definition of hit-or-miss, while their peated releases under the Ledaig brand name are always of a very high-quality. Is it a case of peat being able to mask inconsistencies? Or is the distillery simply better suited to produce peated single malt whisky?
Whatever the reason, Ledaig has grown to be one of the best peated whiskies available, both in terms of quality and value. Like often turns out to be the case, this reputation is mainly built on the single cask releases from independent bottlers, not so much on the official releases from the distillery. One such example is on the tasting table today, as this Ledaig 2006 12 Years from a first-fill sherry hogshead was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.
Ledaig 2006 12 Years (58.2%, Gordon & MacPhail, C#16603709)
Nose: Sherried Ledaig at its finest, with hints of barbecue-smoked meats, but also caramel-glazed apple and raw sugar. A touch of sauerkraut peeks through as well, accompanied by warm baking spices and ripe banana. Taste: Spicy arrival (cracked black peppercorns) followed by sweet notes of caramel, but also smoked bacon, soot and some peat, slightly medicinal. A touch of espresso, as well as some burnt lemon peel. Finish: Smoky, embers and a touch citrus.
Exactly what you’d expect from a sherried Ledaig of this age. If this is the type of profile you like, you can’t go wrong here.