I’ve reviewed a few indie Ledaigs already, and have a couple more lined up, but I’m yet to taste the official Ledaig 10 at its (relatively) new strength of 46.3%. I can’t say I was much of a fan of the older Ledaig 10. Anyway, let’s get right to it.
Ledaig 10 (46.3%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: A big wave of rubbery, farmy peat; quite pungent and gets quite acidic quite quickly. The rubber (burning tyres) is quite strong as is the aroma below that of some kind of small rodent rotting in wet undergrowth. Some salt too, maybe some lime. Not getting anything else. Okay, let’s hope it’s better on the palate. After a lot of time, the rubber subsides a bit and there’s a lot more salt, but it’s still pretty acrid. With a couple of drops of water the citrus gets more pronounced (musky lemon now).
Palate: Yes, it is better on the palate. The smoke is more ashy here and there’s a coastal sweetness (kelp?) mixed nicely with some brine. On the second sip there’s more of the organic peat from the nose but I’m glad to report that I’m not getting the rubber. More tar now too and more salt. With a lot of time and air the tar subsides and it’s a nice mix of dry smoke and coastal notes (kelp, salt, shells). Okay, let’s see what water does. Water sharpens the smoke a bit and gives it a stony edge; there’s some (preserved) lemon here too now.
Finish: Medium. The sweet, briny thing hangs around with some smoke on the edges. There’s an ashiness on the sides of my tongue well past the swallow. The smoke gets more expansive and more tarry with every sip.
Comments: This genre of peat/smoke is not really my thing as a rule. True to form the nose started off nasty and didn’t get a whole lot better for a while; but eventually it settled down. I was pleasantly surprised by the palate from the get-go though, and with some time it was even better. A good example of why it’s good to take your time with a decent size pour before making up your mind about a whisky. Still, I can’t see getting a bottle.
Rating: 83 points.
Thanks to Jordan for the sample!