Ledaig 6, 2006 (Single Malts of Scotland)

Ledaig
Another day, another young Ledaig, this one also from a sherry butt. This time from the Whisky Exchange‘s highly dependable Single Malts of Scotland line, and at 6 years old, even younger than the Whisky Doris 9 yo. This one got very good reviews despite its young age.

This is my first time tasting it. I hope I will not regret too much my knee-jerk scepticism about very young malts combined with my knee-jerk scepticism about all Ledaigs that kept me from purchasing this when it was released, as it sold out very quickly. Well, I’m sure there’ll be another one along shortly regardless.

Ledaig 6, 2005 (56%; Single Malts of Scotland, sherry butt #971009; from a sample received in a swap)

Nose: No wondering where the sherry is with this one; there it is on the first sniff: raisins and apricot, with the farmy peat right underneath. None of the acidic bite of the Whisky Doris 9 yo. With time and air the farmy peat comes up to the top and brings a lot of briny sea air with it. Funny–if you were to pour this and walk away and come back in 10 minutes you might not think that this was obviously sherried; but the sherry’s still there–toffee underneath the peat. With more time the toffee climbs back to the top again. With water there’s more salt, some cereally notes and the peat gets acidic

Palate: Very nicely balanced between the warmer toffee/sweet notes from the sherry and the peat and smoke (dry, campfire). The sherry notes approach first with an urbane greeting and then the peat slaps you across the mouth. Like the Whisky Doris 9 yo this is more phenolic on the palate than on the nose. This has greater depth of flavour though. Very drinkable at full strength. Water makes it way more phenolic; the dry smoke is all but gone.

Finish: Long. A lot of salt and the peat lingers for a long time. At the end the sherry separates ever so slightly. Water lengthens and intensifies the finish (a lot of phenolic smoke).

Comments: Probably the most Islay-like of the (few) Ledaigs I’ve tried. Very nice, and yeah, I probably should have got a bottle. Oh well.

Thanks to bpbleus for the sample!

Rating: 87 points

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