Review: Ledaig 10 Years Old

I’ve been kicking around the idea of filling some gaps in the distillery listings on the right hand side of Whisky Rover. At least it’ll point me in some new directions as it is fairly easy to become wrapped up in a cluster of specific distilleries.

Mull has been an omission so we’re putting that right starting with Ledaig that forms part of Tobermory distillery. Yeah, I should actually start with the main host first but I have another bottle of Ledaig waiting to be reviewed – more on that later – so it felt like an opportunity to make an interesting comparison. First though, let’s start with the official bottling from Ledaig. This is just a small sample I bought at Deanston distillery that is owned by the same parent company. I’m familiar with this release anyway and this website is self-funded so spare cash is always a consideration when making purchases.

Not to confuse matters but Ledaig and Tobermory have an element of name swapping over the years despite being the same distillery – not the extent of Clynelish, no Brora, no Clynelish 2, oh which one was it again? At least the distilleries at Brora are 2 separate buildings! Originally founded as Ledaig in 1798 the distillery has suffered a rocky history in terms of production with various periods of closure. It makes for an interesting read if you do get the opportunity to delve a little more. The distillery is certainly one I’d like to visit sometime to cross off my list.

To put it simply today if you see an official bottle of Tobermory then this is the unpeated whisky, whereas Ledaig is the lightly peated expression. Last time I checked the whisky (like Caol Ila) is shipped off its home island to the mainland. The spirit is casked at Deanston before heading off to Bunnahabhain for maturation. My recent trip to Deanston earlier this month highlighted a couple of Tobermory casks in the warehouses (pictured above). A long winded process I agree, but let’s see how the finished product stacks up.

Distillery: Ledaig (Tobermory)
Age: 10 years
Strength: 46.3% vol
Price: this 5cl was about £6 and expect to pay around £32 for a full-sized bottle

Colour: tape

Nose: a light peat, with Highland heather, pine nuts and dark chocolate.

Taste: more peat but noticeable smoke now, a richness and thickness I’m saying is balsamic that adds more sweetness and a fruity element with pineapple and orange peel. A decent enough finish and a solid peated malt that benefits from its higher strength.

What was that other bottle of Ledaig I mentioned? It’s one from the highly rated German company Malts of Scotland, a 12 year old bourbon barrel, bottled at 58.9% and limited to 214 bottles. I haven’t opened it yet, but based on the above, I’m looking forward to it. 


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