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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Ledaig 19 year old 1997 Cadenhead Small Batch

Today's Cadenhead Small Batch is indeed a small batch; more specifically, it's one Ledaig hogshead. Its bottles were sold in the US of A, and I remember seeing it on the shelf. And not buying it. I had my reasons. Those reasons are called "money". Anyway, yesterday I stated my feelings about Ledaig at this age range, so I'm certainly ready for this stuff.

Distillery: Tobermory
Malt: Ledaig
Owner: Distell International Ltd.
Region: Isle of Mull
Independent Bottler: Cadenhead
Range: Small Batch
Age: 19 years (1997 - 2016)
Maturation: Bourbon hogshead
Alcohol by Volume: 53.7%
(from a bottle split)


The nose has three lives. At first it's all metal and farmy funk. Then it gets peachy, with citrons and charred marshmallows in the background. Finally it settles into ocean brine, earth and malt. The palate also starts out metallic and farmy, then tangy citrus and sweet stone fruits move in while salty smoke plays coy. It finishes with a good mix of tart, sweet, salt, and smoke (in that order of strength).

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose gets smokier as the fruits retreat, though there's a fruit tart way in the back. The palate also gets smokier, but sweet citrus stands its ground, with hints of dried herbs and peppercorns around the edges. Smoke and citrons fill the finish.


Full reveal: This was the 15yo's Taste Off partner. Though the 15 year old won the battle, this 19yo was still very good. This older cask read simpler and milder, and though the finish felt very balanced, the palate and nose were wobblier. I'd still take wobbly Ledaig over nearly every other peated malt on the planet, so owning this bottle wouldn't be a tragedy. And yeah, it's probably a December whisky too.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 86