...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ledaig 11 year old 2005 Signatory sherry butt #900160

The first whisky from last week's event was this Glen Keith.
The second whisky was GlenDronach Cask Strength, batch 6.
The third whisky was Amrut Portonova, batch 15.
Batting cleanup, not entirely figuratively, was Ledaig 11yo 2005 Signatory sherry butt #900160.

So I started with a bourbon cask Speyside, and followed with a rich sherried malt. Then came a heavy port cask whisky. As always I concluded with a cask strength big peater. There's always a possibility that one will be a palate wrecker.

I was happy to score this Signatory Ledaig. This series of peated Mull in sherry butts has been recommended to me by whisky fans whose palates I highly respect. I tried cask #900145 at the Signatory tasting bar last year, but didn't find it overly thrilling. Let's see how this one fares...

Distillery: Tobermory
Brand: Ledaig
Region: Isle of Mull
Independent Bottler: Signatory
Age: 11 years (November 8, 2005 - November 22, 2016)
Maturation: First-fill Sherry Butt
Cask number900160
Bottles: 654
Alcohol by Volume: 58.0%
Chillfiltered? No
Colored? No

The nose leads with new sneaker rubber and tar. It's densely earthy, but also has a bright sugary note. A very good merging of big peat and big sherry. There are also subtler notes of sesame oil, plum wine and orange peel. The palate has lovely herbal peat, as well as loads of lemons, limes and dried berries. It's tarry, with a little bit of umami. Some coffee bitterness. Later on, the dried berries develop into fresh blackberries (both sweet and tart). It finishes with a great sting. Dingy peat and cayenne pepper meet up with a jammy sweetness. A bit of horseradish bitterness in the back.

WITH WATER (~46%abv)
The nose is all cleaned up. Tropical fruits and menthol. Salty peat and flower blossoms. Mild notes of sherry-ish dried fruit. The palate is also milder and cleaner. Calmer bitterness and (great!) peat. Fresh ginger and a fruity sweetness. Toasted nuts. A few tart lemons and berries. The finish is ashier and pepperier. With more of the toasted nuts note. Still has a good length to it.

Damn, this is swell. Two different whiskies (with and without dilution) for the price of one, and both are great. And it's not a palate wrecker. Rather, it makes one want to taste every open bottle of peated whisky in the house.

BUT, you gotta be down with the bitter and the earth. If those characteristics don't do it for you, then skip this one. Otherwise, damn this is swell.

Availability - Europe
Pricing - I nabbed this bottle for $77, before shipping
Rating - 90

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