When I hear about LEDAIG, my heart goes boom. Whether it is through beautiful memories during a memorable evening (in its 10-year version) or to accompany a dish during a peaty meal (in its 12-year version), it is always there. So when I hear about an 18-year-old version that is over 18 years old and finished in Xeres barrels, it goes boom boom (peat and sherry I say yes!).
Let us go back to our Scottish sheep. LEDAIG whiskies are the peaty finish of the whiskies of the artisanal distillery TOBERMORY located on the Isle of Mull (in the Hebrides to the north of the Isle of Islay).
For the record, the TOBERMORY distillery was called LEDAIG in 1798 when it opened its doors (from there to see a link...). Tobermory (from the Gaelic Tobar Mhoire which means the well of Marie -NDLR-) happens to be the colourful port that houses the distillery.
The LEDAIG finishes known for their very maritime iodized peaty taste are generally very clear whiskies.
This is what will directly strike the eye of the person who discovers the bottle for the first time: the liquid here is rather coppery and almost brown-red. Another one of the Spanish! Indeed, the finish that we are going to taste today was first of all stored in classic oak barrels before being transferred to Oloroso sherry barrels, all for no less than 18 years.
When you like peat and sherry you can expect something very beautiful.
And that's the case, when it dives into the glass for the first time in the glass, the nose is coated with intense fruity and woody aromas (the sherry finish is often the one that seeks to come out of the glass first -NDLR-). On the second pass, the fruity aromas give way to a light but very present peat. In fact, I let you experience it from the palm of your hand and it won't just be the tire you smell, but slightly winey smoky wood (which is not always the case with a peat whisky). If you hang in there and don't taste it yet, a third run of the nose will detect peppery notes all in a roundness.
In the mouth it is a melting pot of flavours. First of all, the sweetness of the red fruit aromas linked to Xeres. Then comes the grassy peat and slightly bitter salty peat, which reminds us that we are in the presence of a LEDAIG but of a respectable age and which has stayed longer than usual in the calm of the warehouse by the sea (" quiet please " it is marked on the grid ! -NDLR-).
We might have appreciated even more a gross barrel output but we must respect the work of the cellar master who only distributes his distillates at 46.3° (degree considered to be the most appropriate).
In the end, it is indeed a long LEDAIG signature that remains in the mouth: an explosion of peat smoke and a beautiful hint of liquorice.
This 2nd edition of LEDAIG 18 years old is completely up to the expectations of peat and sherry lovers and deserves the mention "wonderfully peated".
Follow the news feed and stay informed of upcoming site publications on facebook