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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Ledaig 13 year old Port Pipe Matured

I may be entering more cask-driven territory now with this heavily-peated Tobermory spirit that spent its entire life in Port Pipes (probably 5 or 6, per the total outturn). Despite early negative expectations set by some whisky geeks, I have had decent experiences with many port cask matured single malts, including a few peated ones items, with Benriach's 17 year old Solstice marking the summit. I don't know why it works for a palate that could without wineskies forever. Maybe the key is tawny port? I like tawny port.

Ledaig, though. Expectation level set to: Sure, What the Hell.

Distillery: Tobermory
Brand: Ledaig
Owner: Distell International Ltd.
Region: Isle of Mull
Age: minimum 13 years
Maturation: Port pipes
Outturn: Two releases, 3,199 bottles
Bottling year: 2019
Alcohol by Volume: 58.1%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant Added? No
(from a purchased sample)

Opposite of what I'd anticipated, this has the most muted nose of the three Ledaigs. There's a minor Caol Ila / Ardmore-esque snuffed bonfire note and a little bit of ocean along with flowers and baked plums and blueberries. The palate feels big but its elements are difficult to discern over the first couple of sips. There's plenty of berry essence without the sugar. Smoked fish and wood smoke. Tart and bitter citrus. There's also a curious grainy note in the background. The mouth-drying finish has lots of heavy smoke, tart citrus, the aforementioned grainy note and lots of heat.

DILUTED TO ~46.3%abv, or 1½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose becomes very pretty with its flowers, pineapple and fruit cocktail. The smoke and ocean notes grow, and brown sugar makes an appearance. The palate is more on herbs and grasses, now. Good bitterness, subtle sweetness. Milder smoke. It finishes dry and grassy. It feels young, but no mezcal this time.

These were certainly not wet port pipes, or they were gingerly seasoned because the fortified wine note remains minor throughout. And the pipes' large surface area prevented the whisky from getting woody. It also resulted in another youthful Ledaig. It's less funky and more friendly than the 13yo Amontillado finish, but there's also an odd drying aspect to the finish that I didn't enjoy. Expectations met, I guess, though not surpassed.

Availability - Sold out, or almost thus
Pricing - €120-€140
Rating - 84