Review: Ledaig 8 Yr 2005 (Exclusive Malts)

History

Tobermory distillery 3Ledaig 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 Exclusive Malts. David Stirk founded the Creative Whisky Company in 2005 and has several rangesĀ of independently bottled whisky that he hand selects and bottles. The Exclusive Malts range is bottled single cask, cask strength and has been very successful in the US market. In fact this Ledaig is part of Exclusive Malts batch #5 in the US. It is eight years old and was distilled in 2005. It’s so light in color that it’s almost clear – it’s the lightest coloredĀ single malt I’ve ever seen. At 56.7 ABV this whisky packs a punch so feel free to add some drops of water as needed. There is only one official Ledaig expression available in the US: the ten year old. So it’s definitely a privilege to try any additional expressions from this distillery.

Tasting Notes

Ledaig 8 EM 5Nose: smoky, mossy peat, earthy, lemons, burnt wood chips, salty ocean breeze, underlying fruity sweetness

Mouth: spicy, peaty, rubber, lemons, grapefruit, berry sweetness

Finish: white pepper, smoky. drying, bitter, rubber

Score: 82/100

Verdict: This whisky smells like fresh ocean breeze and has the characteristic seaweed/mossy quality that is common among Ledaig’s expressions. The nose is also very earthy, with an underlying fruity sweetness and a hint of lemons. Overall the nose is rich and has great depth. On the mouth this whisky pops with pepper and peat. It packs a punch initially so be warned and the smokiness is more along the lines of burnt rubber than traditional peat smoke. There’s also a good amount of lemon and grapefruit citrus. Over time a distinct berry sweetness presents itself, but you have to be willing to look past the initial burst of flavor. This dram is similar to Kilchoman in terms of spice and peat smoke, but it doesn’t have the fruity sweetness to balance it out. The flavor is a bit ‘in-your-face’ and won’t be enjoyed by everyone. The aftertaste is somewhat bitter and very dry with white pepper and smoke. I’m not a huge fan of the bitter flavor which is reminiscent of burnt rubber tires. Nevertheless it’s always great to taste different expressions from this distillery since only the Ledaig 10 year is readily available in the States.

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