This week of sherry casks from distilleries from different whisky producing regions of Scotland bottled by Old Particular for K&L got off to a good start on Monday with a 16 yo Glenrothes. It then hit a bit of a pothole in the road with a 17 yo Glenturret. Let’s see if the youngest of the trio can take us to a strong finish. This is a 15 yo Ledaig, or peated Tobermory from the Isle of Mull. There has been a lot of Ledaig available from independent bottlers in the last decade and a fair bit of it from sherry casks. Ledaig’s flavour of peat tends towards the farmy and organic. It can be funky but it also takes sherry very well. At least that has been my experience. Let’s see if that is borne out here.
Ledaig 15, 2006 (51.8%; Old Particular for K&L; refill butt DL 14901; from a bottle split)
Nose: Big farmy peat mixed in with rich sherry (orange peel, raisins, fruitcake). Saltier with each sniff. With more time and air it softens, with some toffee and milky cocoa and a touch of vanilla. Some rotting leaves mixed in there too now in the farmy peat complex. A squirt of water pulls out a lot of lime and mixes it nicely with the salt; ashier here too now. With a bit more time the lime moves towards preserved lemon.
Palate: The sherry takes the lead here and the farmy peat comes up from below as I swallow. A pretty big bite at 51.8% and good texture. With each sip the peat expands and emerges earlier and the salt pops out earlier as well. With time the farmy notes subside a little and it picks up a fair bit of char—and maybe it’s the power of suggestive association but I seem to be picking up some charred meat too now. Okay, let’s add water. It pulls out more char and a lot of pepper.
Finish: Long. It’s all about the peat (which picks up some ash) and the the salt here along with some bell pepper at the end. Sweeter here with water (with the pepper following through as well).
Comments: This is very nice indeed. Ledaig does take sherry very well. And for a refill butt there’s a fair bit of sherry character here. You do have to like farmy peat but if you do, this will not disappoint. Very good neat and it develops nicely with water. Not sure if it’s still available but at $100 this is/would have been a steal.
Rating: 88 points.