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Monday, August 10, 2020

Ledaig 13 year old Amontillado Cask Finish

Three 13-year-old Ledaigs this week! Because!

Leading off is an official 13yo that was bottled in 2017 and cost (usually) under €100 back then. The only major harrumph I'll harrumph today is regarding the "Cask Finish" as its length is unspecified, so it could have been 10 years or 10 days. A little help here, Tobermory.

Expectations set to: Moderate Enthusiasm. The official 10 is good and the first batch of the 18 was positively odd, but the three 19s I reviewed last year were disappointing. Thus I'm glad Dr. Springbank risked a bottle and sent me a sample. Time to test my luck!

Distillery: Tobermory
Brand: Ledaig
Owner: Distell International Ltd.
Region: Isle of Mull
Age: minimum 13 years
Maturation: bourbon casks for ? years, Amontillado casks for ? years/months/weeks/days
Outturn: ????
Alcohol by Volume: 59.2%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant Added? No
(sample from Dr. Springbank. Thank you!)

The nose is somewhat reminiscent of the weird early-90s Ledaig that disturbs some drinkers while delighting others. There's hard cheese, walnuts, baked potatoes, smoked salmon and mezcal (a.k.a. breakfast). Grasses and cocoa powder appear after some time. Ah, the sherry's in the palate. It still has the walnut and aged cheese notes but now those are met with dried berries and golden raisins. It hauls along loads of salt and a massive youthful sneaker peat wallop. It finishes hot and salty, with bitter smoke, sneaker peat and a hint of sherry.

May I attempt Distell's favorite ABV?

DILUTED TO ~46.3%abv, or 1⅔ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Though the nose is bolder and farmier, it also holds almonds cookies and peach and pear nectars. Some apple juice and ginger candy. The peat now trends towards seaweed. The palate reads both very young and very sherried, at first. Classic oloroso (not Amontillado) style, too, which is strange but we're in Ledaig Land now so...there it is. It sweetens and softens up with time. It finishes with farmy smoke and mild sweetness.

Keep going:

DILUTED TO ~40%abv, or about 1 tbsp of water per 30mL whisky
It's getting younger now? The nose is all yeasty, malty newmake, with confectioner's sugar, flowers and mint. Sugar, almonds and sneaker peat in the palate and the finish.

This Ledaig presents the reverse of Friday's Kilkerran, wherein this whisky's original bourbon cask maturation seems to have resulted in very little maturation, and then the distillery tried to give it a little nudge with secondary sherry cask aging. It sresults in something reading half the listed age, but it works better (for me) than all those indie single-digit mezcal-Taliskers. I like this whisky best when neat where the sherry works well and the nose is the oddest. This style may be divisive. I'm more than moderately enthused, but this isn't a casual sippin' whisky.

Availability - Sold out?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87

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