Always a go-to head at Dramble HQ, this relatively young Ledaig was matured in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel for 8 years before being bottled at 60% ABV. Available from The Whisky Exchange for £59.95.
Nose: Minerality from slate and wet gravel meets salinity from brine, oysters and fish stock, whilst bung cloth and hessian sit with waxed jackets. Sweetness is derived from meringue and marshmallow whilst the Ledaig smoke presents itself as smouldering polythene, smoked porridge and burning seaport. Dilution reveals sweet barley water, seaweed and vegetal green peppers, whilst pronouncing more mainstream Ledaig-y plastic, rubber and ozone.
Taste: Surprisingly drinkable at 60%. Golden cereals, smoked fish and bell peppers are joined by a host of unusual flavours which you’d never believe could align – antiseptic cream, dentist’s mouthwash, tile putty, kelp, hewn limestone and lemon lockets. And yet, there’s great coherence here. Miraculous. The addition of water ups the minerality with single whilst the smoked flavours head more towards TCP with iodine, mentholated oak, leather armchairs and plastic rainmacs.
Finish: Medium in length with root beer and rubber tyres joined by lemon peels and white pepper. The medicinalness is reinforced with a slightly numbing antiseptic like feel. Unusual.
A visit to a beachside dentist. This Ledaig is perverse even by Ledaig standards, with some truly thought-provoking standout aromas and flavours, and a strange disinfectant coldness. The overall experience is full-flavoured and intense, belying the relatively youth of the liquid. Right up my alley.