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Friday, November 27, 2020

Ledaig 20 year old 1997 The Munros, for K&L Wine Merchants

The Glasgow Whisky Company (TGWC) is a new-ish indie bottler. They've released a few dozen whiskies since their start in 2007, including a number of single malts for California retailer K&L Wine Merchants. I'm out of the loop when it comes to K&L's exclusives, thanks to shipping regulations, and have had only one chance to nab a bottle since I moved out of Southern California. That bottle was a Ledaig, but not this Ledaig, and that's another boring story. More relevant to today's post, I was able to take part in a split of this Ledaig bottled under TGWC's The Munros label.

Distillery: Tobermory
Brand: Ledaig
Owner: Distell International Ltd.
Region: Isle of Mull
Independent Bottler: The Glasgow Whisky Company
Range: The Munros
Age: 20 years (1 May 1997 - 31 October 2017)
Maturation: three hogsheads
Outturn: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 52.6%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant added? No
(from a bottle split)

The nose is earthier than Wednesday's Alexander Murray Ledaig, but has that same toasty peat note. Some candy notes too, like cinnamon gum and watermelon Jolly Ranchers. Plenty of dried apricots too. With time the earthiness shifts to an organic mustiness, friendly peat smoke and a fudgy hint. The palate has a nice funkiness. Soil and manure, mossy smoke and a kombucha-like fermented note. Salt and lemons fill in the edges, and it all gets sweeter with time. It finishes tangy and sweet. Lemons, limes and ginger beer. Its earthiness lasts the longest.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose picks up yellow stone fruits and lemons. The earthiness retreats. A mesquite smoke arises. Less smoke and more sweets in the palate. But the sugars are balance by a big herbal bitter bite, fennel and pickled ginger. The finish matches the palate, though a little more lemony.

I enjoyed all three Ledaigs this week, and I'm thankful the three bottlers offered up whiskies that went very light on the oak. It was great to match up this one with the 1997 20yo from Alexander Murray. This Ledaig gets the edge thanks to its quirkiness and fruitiness, but their qualities are so close that I'd be happy with either. The fact that The Munros Ledaig was priced 40% cheaper than the other would have made for a much easier decision. I normally don't regret missing out on store exclusives, but this whisky would have hit the spot this fall.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - $99.99
Rating - 88