Never one to pass up the opportunity to review a Ledaig (it’s a firm Dramble favourite). This one has spent 10 years in a refill hogshead before being bottled at 54.3% ABV. 304 bottles were produced at £67.99 – this is showing as sold out on the Claxton’s website – but the company sells to a bunch of worldwide retailers so you might well be able to pick it up elsewhere.
Nose: Typically Ledaig – lobster bisque, buttered scallops, seaweed, lemon drops and light tropicals aromas meet with smoked ham hock, smouldering freshly cut wood, burnt rubber tyres and just a hint of plastic bag. Dilution ups the sweetness levels with a wider selection of fruit (orchard). It also adds some pleasant coastal minerality into the equation.
Taste: The arrival is surprisingly soft (it’s a trap) – chocolate, barley water and tangy orange peels. But then it’s unleashed – a combination of inland and coastal smoke with plenty of seafood throw in for good measure. Powerful dry, wood smoke, peat ridden langoustines and briny water. Reduction is interesting here – neat, there’s quite a bit of prickle (which to my mind suits the impactful spirit style) – taken down a few % things are calmer and more easy to process – juicy tinned fruits and whafting smoke. It’s quite the different experience.
Finish: Long, with salinity, minerality and touches of lemon balm.
Impactful and characterful – this is a relatively mainstream Ledaig, which forgoes some of the rubbery weirdness for precise and balanced coastal flavours. Worth seeking out.
Review sample provided by Claxtons
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