Welcome back for a little fire breathing today as we finally give those that love a little smoke in their whisky their due. Sourced from the Tobermory distillery on the Isle of Mull today’s dram is labelled Ledaig by A.D. Rattray in deference to the brand used for their peated Single Malt.
We always try to have at least one or two island distilleries represented throughout the 25 days of dramming and it is fantastic to finally have a heavily peated Island expression in front of us.
Tobermory is the only distillery on the isle of Mull and was founded in 1798. One of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland, Tobermory has a rich history. It was closed for 41 years from the mid 30’s till the 1970’s and then still struggled with uncertain markets and difficult economic times and in the 1980’s some of the distillery warehousing was converted into flats (townhouses) and it looked like another closure was inevitable. Burns Stewart purchased it in 1993 and breathed a new lease of life into the distillery. With a unique spirit that captures the heart of the Scottish Isles Tobermory is amongst only a few distilleries that boast two house styles.
Today we get to try Ledaig (pronounced Le chig) as seen from the eyes of the excellent team at A.D. Rattray. Ledaig Single Malt 9 Year Old aged in a refill Bourbon cask and bottled at the cask strength of 57.9%.
Colour: Light as you would expect from only 9 years in a refill cask boasting a lovely polished Pinot Gris effect.
Nose: Buttered Popcorn on the cusp of being over popped. Topped with bacon bits and sea salt.
Palate: Lamp oil and colored pencil shavings, smoked cod and smoldering latex not necessarily in that order 🙂
Finish: Long salty, earthy, rubbery and all with a backbone of a smoky sweetness.
This is a delicious Ledaig and I love the contrast here from what Islay brings to the table in terms of peated whisky. This is every bit as large and consuming but definitely has a much different feel. Younger peated whisky is something I find myself reaching for when I want some big smoke and peat flavors that are underpinned by youthful fruit. This Island variant fits the bill perfectly and absolutely warms all the way down. Even now I can still feel it’s magic all over my tongue and throat. Certainly the cask strength here just absolutely gives it wings.
Water: Just a couple of drops here adds even more sweetness and just takes that living large edge away. Some marzipan kicks in at the death stealing the limelight. I think for most occassions I would go big or go home on this one personally but I did really like the slightly softer and sweeter version that mutated with a little water.
Tomorrow we head to the Highlands to welcome a brand new independent bottler to the calendar.
On this day in the 2nd edition we had the delicious A.D. Rattray Caol Ila I didn’t actually mean for this to be so spot on with the order from the 2nd edition but I do know that keeping the peat lovers away from their favorite flavors for too long is a dangerous thing so there will always be something to sooth the aching need at least once a week.
For those looking for this delicious Ledaig alas there was none to be had after we took our stash for the 3rd edition. Whatever you have in your glass or still in your bottle is all there is.
Johanne has her take on this A.D. Rattray Ledaig here.
Until tomorrow have a fabulous night
Jonathan – taster of secrets