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On February 2nd 2012 I tried the Laddie Ten for the first time at a tasting with distillery manager Duncan McGillivray. I even own a bottle signed by Jim McEwan (yey!). This release marks the beginning of a new era under the new (actually, since July 2012, old) management, in which the core range will now be a lot more limited. No more multiple ranges that you can hardly get your head around, done are the gazillion finishes that made many a collectors hair turn grey.
The creamy nose immediately goes down a path of lime, mandarin, pineapple and mostly banana. Add some light brown sugar to that. Quite a bit of honey as well. This is nicely balanced with a salty and lightly medicinal touch. We are on Islay, so that makes sense.
It is round in the mouth with immediately the salty character on top, followed by all the fruit of the nose and then some. Halfway through it gets a boost of caramel. Nicely seasonsed on ginger and cinnamon and something resembling cloves.
The finish again leans toward salt, with a bittersweet death.
If this is the new standard, then I very much look forward to the new releases, for this entry level Laddie is one helluva whisky.