Ledaig 2007 A.D. Rattray

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Thanks to /u/nofansky for the sample

More Ledaig? Of course I’ll have more Ledaig. This was a sample /u/nofansky sent over with a bottle split we did over the Summer. Being Summer it was pushed to the back of my sample shelf but has slowly crept its way forward and the weather could not be more appropriate now.

Aged 9 years. 59.7% ABV. Matured in a bourbon hogshead. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Nose: Ash. Malt. Barley sugar. A bit new makey. Brine. Custard powder. Lychees. Limes. Chemical smoke, like lye in water. Slight sweet woody undertones.

Palate: Milk chocolate. Irish cream. Vegetal peat. Charred wood. Wet campfire. Bit of vanilla and salt going down.

Finish: Long. Very briney and quite creamy along with some herbal honey, ash and peat.

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 is a very apparently young whisky, with not a huge amount of complexity, but I can’t really fault it for that because it’s a Ledaig, and Ledaig can work really well like that, all that raw distillate character is there and in your face, yum.

 

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Arran 1996 Alambic Calssique Rhum Finish

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I feel like I’m seeing more and more rum cask matured whiskies around, which is great because rum is good, and whisky is good, and the combination of the right whisky with the right rum cask can be amazing. The problem I have is a lot of whiskies will just use something general like  “Caribbean Rum”, but rum is a hugely diverse spirit with so many different character profiles so it can get bloody annoying, because not every type of rum cask would work with let’s say a light Speyside whisky.

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Highland Park Valkyrie

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Thanks to Rani for the sample.

So a few years ago Highland Park rebranded to put more emphasis on their Viking heritage (well the Isle of Orkney’s Viking heritage). Now they’ve gone and rebranded some more with even more Vikings. This one is supposed to replace the Dark Origins expression which was a non-age stated, very sherried expression with a very cool black design.

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More Douglas Laing with Malt Mongers Israel

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Once again our whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel (MMI), met up to try some more whisky, because there sure it a lot of it to try. And once again we tried some Douglas Laing bottlings. DL’s importer here in Israel, SIPIL, has brought in some more bottlings and let us have a preview of them.

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Ledaig 2005 Signatory Vintage – BTC 2017 #14

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Always happy to find a Ledaig in the mix. I knew what this was the moment I opened it. Ledaig has a very distinct funk to it that most people eventually learn to love. This is from a signatory bottling, one of several sherrycask Ledaigs released over the last year or so as part of their Cask Strength Collection series.  The sherry was quite weird on this one and felt a bit muted compared to the other two bottlings I’ve tried from this series, so I guessed it was the 19 year old marsala cask released last year.

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Ledaig 2008 Archives

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Thanks to /u/dramboy for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit

One can never try enough Ledaig, it can vary so much from dram to dram but still has the same old familiar funk to it. This one was bottled by whiskybase.com’s Archives label which has seen some amazing releases of late. I missed the boat on this one so thankfully /u/dramboy had this sample for me. This was matured in a sherry butt, though judging by the colour, either a refill cask or partial maturation.

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Ledaig 2005 Signatory Vintage

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Thanks to /u/Dramboy for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit.

Always happy to try some Ledaig. It’s real wonder whisky, very versatile. This is one of several sherry matured 10-11 year old bottlings done by Signatory Vintage which popped up on the market recently. They were a little out of my comfort zone where I’d buy without trying so I never got a bottle but was left curious. Thankfully /u/dramboy was willing to share some with me.

Aged 11 years. 58% ABV. Matured in a 1st fill sherry butt. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask 900160.

Nose: Light funk. Ash. Gasoline. Pencil erasers. Nutmeg. Cherry jam. Currants. Toasted wood. Dark maple syrup. Candy apple.

Palate: Quite sharp. Red apple. Tart strawberries. Leather. Coal dust. Medicinal. Smoked red fruits.

Finish: Long. Slightly coppey. Bitter wood. Rubber. Cooking oil. Cherry menthol lozenges.

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 is really a top quality cask. Ledaig is very good at most stages of maturation but the combination of young, peaty character of the still very active spirit and full, thick sherry is really quite stellar here in particular.

Douglas Laing Tasting with Fred Laing

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Fred Laing doing his thing.

Sorry about the delay since my last post. I was on holiday in Italy but am back and well rested. Very shortly before I left, to the point that I didn’t have time to write this up, I was invited to a very special tasting event. I recently posted about and evening that our whisky club, MMI had in conjunction with Sipil, a local importer and online retailer, who have recently begun to import Douglas Laing products to Israel, currently the only independent bottler on the market.

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Highland Park 28, Cadenhead’s Wood Range – Wine Cask

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I forgot to take a picture when I took down the notes, only had a small sample.

This is an independently bottled malt from Highland Park distillery on the Isle of Orkney, bottled by the veteran bottler W.M. Cadenhead as part of their Wood Range. The Wood Range aims to show off the effects of various casks types on a whisky, this one being matured in a port hogshead for a little under 10 years (couldn’t find info on what it was matured in before that so going to assume refill bourbon).

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Ledaig 19 Marsala Cask Finish

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I’m always happy to try whatever comes out of Tobermory distillery, particularly if it’s a Ledaig. They have this weird edgy funk to them that just makes them really unique and they go well with just about everything. The distillery is also going to stop producing whisky for about 2 years due to renovations, and while they have announced that they have plenty of stock to put out during that time period, I’m a little worried that it’ll somehow give the collectory types reason to horde and drive up prices. So best to enjoy as much as I can now.

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