Ledaig 1998 Cooper’s Choice

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This is a real treat. Over the past year and a bit I’ve tried several Ledaigs (and learned that it’s pronounced Le-chig and not Le-dayg, because Gaelic), mostly  younger malts, 10 years and under, and have developed quite a liking for it.

About a month I ago I tried the 18 year old distillery bottling and was very impressed, so when the chance approached to try another older Ledaig, and this time from the single cask Cooper’s Choice range, which seldom disappoints, I jumped at the chance.

Aged 17 years. 56.5%ABV. Matured in a Sherry Butt. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask 0035.

Nose: Gun powder. Match heads. Mineral peat. Glazed meats. Nutty sherry. A dry smoky note, kind of like smoked fish. Brine. Lye water. Lavender. Bitter oranges.  And an underlying jammy sweetness.

Palate: Dry sherry. Clean linen. Salty caramel. Bitter wood. Sour cream with dill. Bit of leather. Tobacco. Milk chocolate with mint.

Finish: Long. Bitter apricots. Charred aromatic wood. Citrus flowers. Dry sherry. Some chocolate and a slight hint of mild chilli.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

This was a beautiful dram. The sherry went so well with the milder, matured Ledaig. Fruity, but dry, with wisps of smoke and wood influence. I know I said that the 18 year old was a little pricey, and this one costs a bit more, but this is cask strength and in a league of its own in terms of calibre.

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