Today we focus on the Ledaig limited editions releases for 2018. Distell did us a favor and released two Ledaigs from the same vintage and same age statement and you can understand why the first thing that came up in my mind was: “Yay, a comparison review!”. Surely it bounds to be more interesting than two separate reviews.
First one up is the Ledaig 1998 19 Year Old finished in Oloroso sherry casks. Although I’m not sure it’s legal to call it a finish as it was matured for barely 6 years in Bourbon casks before being finished in Oloroso sherry casks for about 14 years. Yeah, 6 Years Vs 14 Years. It was bottled at the standard Distell ABV of 46.3% instead of cask strength) and 2,400 bottles should be released later this month.
Ledaig 1998 19 Year Old Oloroso Finish (46,3%, RRP £130)
Nose: Fungal, sour berries, sweet cherries, lactic, seaside breeze, sweet peat smoke, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Palate: Very lactic, then comes the sour sweet fruitiness, cherries flavored hard candies, I don’t think it’s a good combo, sweet peat, subtle smoke, salt, honey.
Finish: Medium length, full of sour sweet dried red berries, hard candies, sweet smoke, salty and lactic.
I can’t say this Oloroso finish was up my alley. Let’s check the other Ledaig. The second one is the Ledaig 1998 19 Year Old finished in PX sherry casks. This time it’s a more traditional finish with 2 years finish maturation in fresh (1st fill) PX casks
Nose: Far less lactic but still has some, but it’s manageable. But on the good hard it’s more smoky, with sweet dried fruit below the surface getting stronger the more time elapses.
Palate: Sweet dried fruit, also some soursweet hard candies, smoky, glazed BBQ meat, pure meat/goose fat, sweet peat and slightly more drying.
Finish: Long length, drying, lingering sweet dried fruit and BBQ meat, salt and see breeze.
Thoughts: The Oloroso started on the wrong foot, recovered a bit with time but still it’s a very underwhelming whisky. The PX finish was very good and far better than the sherry counterpart. both were somewhat lactic, but the PX carried more smoke, more coastal-ness and better fruitiness, meshed together to create a truly good and unique Ledaig.