Review: Ledaig 1997 17 Yr (The Exclusive Malts)

History

Tobermory Distillery 1Ledaig is one of two malts produced at Tobermory distillery. See here and here for in-depth history of the distillery. This Ledaig is bottled by independent bottler David Stirk under his label – The Exclusive Malts. The Exclusive Malts range is bottled single cask, cask strength and has been very successful in the US market. Ledaig is known to be a peated and robust whisky. This one is 17 years old which makes it the oldest Ledaig I’ve ever tried to date. The new make spirit was laid to rest in an ex-bourbon barrel for aging in 1997 and bottled in 2014 at 54.9% ABV. There is only one official bottling of Ledaig in the US and it’s rather mild in comparison to this single cask spirit. I’d highly recommend seeking out Ledaig single cask indies.

Tasting Notes

Ledaig 17Nose: smoky, ashy, charcoal, cinnamon, apples, hint of honey, black pepper, dried apricot/mango

Mouth: peppery, vanilla, bright and fruity (stone fruits), apricot

Finish: spicy, sweet honey, black pepper left over, slight burnt rubbery flavor

Score: 86/100

Verdict: The nose on this whisky would make you think that this liquid is from Islay. However you would be wrong with that assumption because this whisky is from Tobermory. The scents are full of smoked charcoal and ash. Underneath that there is a healthy dose of cinnamon, apples and dried stone fruits (apricot/mango). On the mouth you’re immediately hit with a punch of black pepper followed by vanilla and eventually bright apricot and other stone fruits. While the nose and mouth a pretty nice, the finish leaves much to be desired. The finish starts with sweet honey then progresses to black peppery and eventually ending in an unpleasant burnt rubber flavor. Overall, it’s still a very enjoyable whisky despite the harsh finish.

 

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