Following yesterday’s duo we’ll go one step further and have a Trio review. Yup! Three whiskies reviewed today.
I’ve decided to go “Ledaig matured in bourbon casks” theme today. Why? Well, the obvious answer is “because I can” but also because I do like Ledaig and last year it became somewhat fashionable (but thankfully prices are still reasonable).
So let’s start. The first one and the youngest of them all is a Ledaig 2008 from Signatory. a vatting of two casks (Casks 700752+700753) that were distilled 13.5.2008 and bottled 8.3.2016. It was diluted to 46% and so we have a nice yield of 691 Bottles.
Ledaig 2008 7 Year Old Signatory (46%)
Nose: Sweet nose with sweet earthy peat but the dilution is somewhat felt, honey, malt and slowly we get some bonfire smoke and lemon peels as well.
Palate: Sweet peat, smoke, sweet honey and citrus, some weak ashes and wood bitterness.
Finish: Medium long length with honey and ashes, very dry.
It’s young, mellower due to being bottled at 46% but the next one is just a tad older but packs a punching 59.5%. Distilled on 5/10/06, matured in refill ex-bourbon barrel and bottled by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
SMWS 42.24 Ledaig The Bee’s Knees, (59.5%, 204 bottles)
Nose: Young but smells great. Clean, a bit of lemon juice, sweet peat, sweet Heather honey, vanilla and apricots after a bit while. With water: a tad more apricots and pears.
Palate: Sweet peat, a touch of dirt, honey, fuzzy, dash of vanilla. Leaving it to breath reveals more fruitiness. With water: richer and complex (relatively), fruit, gentle oak pops up as well.
Finish: Short medium length, clean steamed lemon peels, sweet peat, a weak fruitiness that is stronger with a few drops of water.
So it has a higher ABV but it felt a bit one dimensional. Let’s check the oldest of them all (from an official sample): a 12 year old bottled last year by The Single Malts of Scotland. Cask #1030 was distilled in 2004, bottled in August 2016, and yielded 327 bottles.
Ledaig 2004 12 Year Old The Single Malts of Scotland (58.1% , 327 bottles ,£60.65)
Nose: Clean nose but with added depth comparing to the SMWS one, sweet earthy peat, honey with a touch of lemon, richer and denser, mint, slowly some smoke appears, baked nuts and meat, pears and peaches and yet more honey. With water: more mint and even more meaty.
Palate: Chewy, gentle and smooth peat, cured meat, sweet vanilla, mint sharpness and freshness. With water there’s mint and meat and it’s less peaty.
Finish: Medium length, lingering peat. With water: lots of mint, cured meat, vanilla and honey and not much peat.
Thoughts: Of those three, the 12 Year Old was the winner, but second close was the Signatory young Ledaig (also due to better VFM). The SMWS one was a bit disappointing due to being a one dimensional (although it somewhat improve with a few drops of water).