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Introduction

A pour of Ledaig 10

A pour of Ledaig 10

Last night I spent some time with the Ledaig 10 years scotch.  Ledaig [led-chig] scotch whisky is distilled on the Island of Mull at the Tobermory distillery.  Ledaig uses a peated malt (peated to 35-40 ppm?), while Tobermory whisky uses unpeated malt (although there is apparently peat in the water source).  I purchased this bottle locally for $43, which puts it in the same range as whiskies like Laphroaig 10, Bunnahabhain 12, Clynelish 14, Glenfarclass 12, and Macallan Cask Strength.  The Ledaig wasn’t really on my radar, but I saw the video review of this from PeatLuvr on YouTube (link below) and decided I wanted to try it.  [Weird - The small image to the right looks much greener on my screen than the full size image when you click on it]

Tasting notes

My first impression upon putting the glass to my nose is of rubber (sulphur?), like when you’re standing in a tire store.  It’s a pungent smell that makes me want to pull away immediately.  Now, if I go back four or five times for additional sniffs, I seem to be able to get past that first impression.  The rubber starts turning to egg, and there’s a sweetness with it, along with lemon zest.  There’s also definitely a very present peat component.  However, if I put the glass down for a little bit and come back to it…Boom, there’s that pungent rubber again.  I’ve had this a few times and it takes me a while to get used to the nose each time.

On the palate, things pick up for me.  Strong peat (this is what I bought it for), along with a peppery heat.  That’s better.  On the finish, that pepper sticks on the tongue a bit, but there’s also some alcohol burn.  This one really seems young and temperamental both on the nose and finish.  I also get a little bit of that rubber again coming up through the nostrils with the peat at the end.

Conclusion – I’m a little mixed on this one.  I think there’s something about the output from the Tobermory distillery that doesn’t quite sit right with me.  I’ve tried a Tobermory before as well, and thought there was something slightly “off”, maybe a bit sulphury again.  It’s not a total loss, as I do enjoy the peat/pepper explosion on the palate.  For general drinking of this bottle, I think I’m going to relegate it to tumblers and not spend much time nosing it.  I also need to try adding a little water to see how that changes it.  I’ll drink this bottle, but don’t have any plans to purchase another any time soon.  There are a lot of other peaty malts out there that I enjoy more.

Other opinions

  • Whisky Magazine - Dave Broom and Arthur Motley provide their impressions and scores.  Neither one of them mentions rubber or sulphur, although Arthur does talk about the sweet egg smell.
  • Whisky Pages – Some info on the distillery, as well as tasting notes and rating.  These guys seem pretty positive on the Ledaig 10, not mentioning any particular negatives.  They give it a fairly average score, though.
  • YouTube (PeatLuver) – Tom really likes it, and doesn’t seem to take any offense to the pungent nose.  Where I get rubber/sulphur, then sweet egg product, he gets “fruity”.  Maybe I just have a mental block based on my first impression (tire store).

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