Were you waiting a new rant about a new peat-and-wine combo? No? Who cares, here it is! This time, I’m going to dive into an indie Ledaig, distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2018. It’s a whisky bottled by The Old Friends, a German indie bottler responsible for this very winey Craigellachie. Now, Ledaig’s reputation massively improved in the last years (add mentally here a pic of a person screaming maniacally “IT’S THE NEW ARDBEEEEG”). Will the superbe marine/salty+malty character of the Ledaig survive the trial of a 10-year-long maturation in a French red wine cask? I feel like it’s gonna be a bloody affair this one…
Nose: It’s full of heavy and acrid smoke, coated of a mystifying winey sweetness. The alcohol comes up strong, and the need to add water at this point is even stronger than the need to leave the cinema that I felt while watching Suicide Squad. With water the nose becomes fruitier, I think, with peaches and bananas covered by a thick ash blanket.
Taste: A powerful, ashy and dark smoke assaults my palate followed by hordes of herbal, acidic, and fruity tastes. Like the walls of Helm’s Deep, where the Rohirrims were hiding from Saruman, my defences are crumbling down facing such a mighty
host of Uruk-hai peaty uppercuts. Melon and redcurrant pierce through the big fat smoke, especially after adding some water. It tastes almost like vinegar at times. All in all, very salty, very acidic, very tasty (if you like this profile).
Finish: It lingers for some times, but it doesn’t its stay, and after leaving an big aftertaste of peat smoke mixed with sugar and peaches, fades away into the dark.
Overall: I think it’a a surprising and very entertaining malt: 85/100. Still available in some shops for around 80 euros, which I humbly judge as a good price for a 10yo single cask of Ledaig, nowadays. Of course, you must be prepare your nose and palate to face a tremendously powerful foe, a bit like Oberyn Martell before fighting Sir Gregor the Mountain… and I cannot guarantee that the outcome will be very different.