SMWS 42.39 Whisky to mull over

Posted 31 January 2019 / In Tobermory
The Dramble reviews SMWS 42.39 Whisky to mull over

Bottle Name: 42.39 Whisky to mull over

ABV: 61.2%
Distillery: Tobermory
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Region: Islands

Green label 42’s always get me interested – this one has spent 9 years in ex-bourbon hogshead and then around 3 years in a 2nd fill ex-white wine barrique. It's an exclusive for the monthly bundles. Lightly Peated profile.

Nose: Part farmyard, part coastal – hay, sties and lacticness sit with salinity, kippered and buttered prawns. Poached pears provide a lift of sweetness before more typically odd Ledaig aromas take over – Crayola crayons, maple-smoked bacon strips and a sprinkle of chilli pepper. Dilution results in an increasingly meaty composition with burnt ends, and roasting joints joined by langoustine tails and an earthy smoked savoury hay aroma.

Taste: Highly savoury and suitably berserk – pickled onion crisps, fish and chips (well salted and dosed in vinegar), cheese crackers and a platter of surf and turf. The mid-palate emphasises smoke more directly with burnt planks, beach fires and ashiness, with some medicinalness supporting – floor cleaner and bandages. Whereas the back-palate goes fully coastal with limestone, shingle and shale.  Water once again favours meatiness with BBQ’d ribs and fat juicy lobster served with a side order of iodine and seaweed.

Finish: Medium with mineral peat, antiseptic cream and sharp smoked limes.

There’s a lot less molten rubber here than one usually expects from Ledaig – but there’s still a riot of aromas and flavours across the board that fans of this left-field distillate would no doubt adore. The nose is arguably weaker than the palate, offering less coherence and power, however, water proves to be the great leveller it often is with 60%+ ABVs. Fun stuff.

Score: 86/100

Master of Malt
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