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The label proclaims that "The first 10 years are the toughest." Indeed. For the new owners of the distillery, their first ten years must have seemed interminable: awaiting the release of their own maturing stock; attempting to balance the books by selling new make spirit and the backlog of acquired whisky through various marketing schemes (hit and miss), and building new brand allegiance. The Laddie Ten is a celebration of that long wait. But I have to wonder if two more "tough" years would have smoothed out some of the rough edges in this malt.
Nose: Decidedly coastal with salt, barley and fennel up front. Some cigar box notes and a bit of peat in the background (peat from the water, not from the malt which is unpeated).
Palate: Oily but light. A tingling delivery of barley, spices and a herbal bitterness. The barley sweetness is held in check. Oak kicks in mid-palate and becomes a bit too dominant. Chewy. A bit hot.
Finish: Quite long with spice and oak tannins leading the way out.