Ledaig 2001 Fourth Secret Edition

Posted 11 October 2022 by Matt / In Tobermory
The Dramble reviews Whisky Sponge Ledaig 2001 20 year old Fourth Secret Edition

Bottle Name: Ledaig 2001 Fourth Secret Edition

ABV: 64.4%
Distillery: Tobermory
Bottler: Whisky Sponge
Region: Islands Age: 20
Glass Weight: 489g

Long sold out – but with only 62 bottles produced in total, there wasn’t really much to go around of this Ledaig in the first place. Distilled in 2001 and then matured in a refill sherry hogshead for 20 years – we’re looking at one of those ‘quiet’ maturations given the formidable disgorged strength of 64.4%.

Nose: Rather reductive – marmalade and jammy berries joining a stiff coastal breeze, salinity, touches of medicinalness and rubber. Ah, but there’s more. Both citrus and stone fruits mingled in a salad together with graphite oil and exhaust fumes. It’s all exceptionally well-integrated and relaxed. Dilution reduces everything except the fruity core – which presents as well-aged, expressive and juicy.

Taste: Behold! The arrival manages to compile citrus-tinged jasmine tea with vinegar, before a powerful island smoke delivers sharp, citric and sweet floor cleaner and antiseptic wipes. Polish stone fruits follow and lead into engine oil and a sense of mezcal agaveness (not a word). Bold, brassy and I’m left thinking whether this is animal, vegetable, mineral?! The addition of water transposes the texture towards oiliness and waxiness and whilst it 64.4% wasn’t unapproachable, now we’re really dancing. Detailed and defined fruit juices are by a real sense of refined elder-stateman Ledaig smoky funk. Truly excellent.

Finish: Long with metholated oak, lip-numbing ABV (at cask strength), powdered granite, bright polished fruits and a fading slightly perverse feinty smoke.

Tremendous stuff. In amongst the madness there’s both clear maturity and a wonderfully fruit-driven character. But it’s when the edge is taken off through a touch of reduction that this really sings – and you’re likely still not dropping below 58% in order to achieve that juicy equilibrium. I’m 100% on a hunt for a bottle of this. 

Review sample provided by Decadent Drinks

Score: 91/100


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