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Ledaig 10 Year Old

Ledaig 10

1 1386

RReview by @RikS

30th Mar 2018

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    86

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Not being an expert, my purpose of writing this is merely to maybe help others, like me, to find good options on their journey. So, to put this in context: this is me in a nutshell - I started floral (Glenkinchie, Dalwhinnie), and quickly moved into unpeated sherried varieties (Aberlour, Glendronach) and some little side-steps into port (Glenmorangie Quinta), but soon developed a desire for somewhat more rounded intensity and smoke (via Highland Park, Benromach), and then added further more intensity and spice (Talisher DE, wonderful). I've thoroughly enjoyed all the above - very much depending on my mood of the day (and the weather outside). Though I am struggling with the medicinal (can't find any pleasure with e.g. Lagavulin 16).

So, Ledaig 10... in short, this one is very nice and ticked many of the boxes for me. And, also provided a few minor surprises which was interesting!

The nose has plenty smoke. In fact, I had to add a wee drop of water and let it stand for 15min before I was able to pick up much nuance. However, after allowing it to open up a bit there's plenty in here! I'm met with vanilla. Fresh apple (quite green) and some ripe kiwi. There's clearly sweetness in here, but not the sherry kind of sweetness I've gotten used to, more vanilla mixed up with sawdust of white wood hanging in the air (if that makes sense!?). There's also some clear floral elements (this surprised me, I didn't think they could live together with such a smokey dram),

The palate is light, but then develops a certain creaminess which is very pleasant. Despite being 46% (I did add a drop of water though) there is no burn at all, only an increasingly warming feeling building. On the palate the peatiness is pronounced but it feels a little more metallic than billowing smoke. There's a touch of spice, nutmeg and 'toasted cinnamon' mixed with a mere pinch of pepper (major difference to e.g. the Talisker).

The finish is quite long. It's nice, though I'm surprised I like it as I wouldn't have guessed that the elements would be to my liking: there's some asphalt and a wee bit of tar. But its nice (don't ask me how asphalt and tar can be nice, it just is). as it lingers on, there's a shift towards burnt coffee mixed with really dark (90%+) bitter chocolate. It's a bit drying in the very finish...

In conclusion: for someone like me who wanted more smoke and nuance than e.g. the HP12, yet without the iodine and medicinal, this is great. It'll be a perfect companion to my Talisker DE for the evenings I want something full and peaty/smokey but without the intense pepper of the Talisker. Yes, having tried this sample I'll definetly buy a bottle of this.

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13 comments

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Wow—I'm surprised you like this so much given that you don't like Lagavulin 16. Have you tried the Lag 16 again recently? Maybe your peaty pleasure center has expanded!

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

RikS commented

@MadSingleMalt I think you are right - I notice that my taste is changing and I like things that I wouldn't have thought a year ago. I wasn't much of a whisky drinker - the opposite in fact, so if you'd told me a few years back that I'd really enjoy a Talisker I'd have thought you were joking.

What seems to be the issue for me though isn't peat, but the "kind" of peat if that makes sense. If it's smokey and bonfireish and warm, I really take to it. So I do well with Benromach, HP, Talisker and - apparently - Ledaig. If it's medicinal, pungent and sour, then I got some big problems. E.g. today I had a dram of Caol Ila distilleler's edition, and that's borderline for me.

about one year ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@RikS - If you like Ledaig you may well like Port Charlotte and/or Kilchoman. I think there are some medicinal elements in them (from memory though I'd say that about Ledaig, certainly coastal) but perhaps it's south Islay in particular you're not a fan of?

Nice review btw, thanks relaxed

about one year ago 0

RikS commented

@RianC Evening! Please expand a little more - my expertise, or lack thereof, is not enough to distinguish between the various parts of Islay, but from what you say there's a difference? And you're right - I tried the Port Charlotte last week and I liked it. To be precise, I got on well with the smoky nature or it, and I recall a little iodine but not too much. I thought it was quite hot though, in the sense of a bit of alco-burn on arrival. I haven't tried the Kilchoman, but I suppose I have to now that you're also mentioning it - it's popped up a few times on my radar.... I'll in fact go see now if someone's made a review on here. Really appreciate the suggestions and notes RianC

about one year ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@RikS - Like it always does, it really comes down to personal taste. For me, I find that the Ardbegs, Laphroaigs, and Lagavulins have more of the TCP, medicinal peaty notes than the other Islay malts - I'd consider adding Caol Ila to those as well.

Sounds like you're keen to try a wide variety though so you'll find what tickles your fancy sooner or later. Glad to hear you liked the PC - one of my recent favourites!

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

RikS commented

@RianC Yes, I got myself a Caol Ila DE and I'm not convinced by it... And you're right about trying the variety, I almost think I'm getting more pleasure some days from finding my way around and nosing, and seeing how much nuance I can pick up in the nose and palate, than actually drinking the whisky. I don't remember which one it was but I recently tried one that I didn't like (taste wise), but I had to keep sipping it cause it was so interesting with all its intertwined elements. Now, I just got a recommendation for Ardbeg as very smokey, but not medicinal - that one will be exciting to explore as I've always stayed well away.

about one year ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@RikS - Ha, yes I just saw @Hewie's comment about Ardbeg and smiled! Thing is, I see what he means in a weird kind of way. It's probably my favourite peated whisky (if not whisky full stop) as it has such a lot of complexity along with the peat. Smokey too but not quite as ash tray like as Laga or Laph ...

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

RikS commented

@RianC Well, it's been an inundating week or peatiness or not.. so I decided to take a break and enjoy a wee Dalwhinnie. And, again, realised... I don't like it anymore (if I ever really did). It leaves me with a certain bitter finish and feels a bit monotonous. So, I added 1/4 A'bunah and now I rather think its ok. All this experimenting is fun! Have a great weekend :-)

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden commented

A great way to experiment and invigorate lesser malts!

Or better ones for that matter, A'bunadh and Ardbeg 10 offers quite the union. A tip from ralfy

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@RikS I agree with @MadSingleMalt. Don't be too quick to write anything off. I know it took me some time to get comfortable with Islay whiskies and peated whiskies in general, but once the AhHa!! moment hits you there's no going back. For me it was a bottle of duty free Ardbeg 10 about 15 years ago. Try Kilchoman Machir Bay or Loch Gorm sometime if you get a chance.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

RikS commented

@BlueNote I'm with you. I'd never drink something that I didn't like just because everyone else is raving about it, but I'm very conscious that my palate appears to be changing with every new expression I'm trying, so I'll equally never-say-never! I do believe there is some truth to the fact that some whiskies need a bit of 'getting used to'.

about one year ago 0

RikS commented

@BlueNote Funny how I came back to this review again after a recent dram... and having found that 'aha! moment' that I never thought I'd find... and which means that the cabinet has now seen the additions of Ardbeg 10, Oogie, An Oa, Laga 16, Laga DE, Caol Ila DE, Laphroaig 10 and QC, and I truly and thoroughly enjoy them all.

And then went back to this one. Still like it, but with some more drams under my belt, and possibly a slightly evolved ability to pick'em apart... this one now seems to be a little more of a very nice 'one trick pony' to me. I pick out smoke... and some more smoke... and, well... smoke. I still rate it, but in comparison, I'd probably pitch this one a wee bit lower than I did at the time when I was filled with the joy of realising that hey, I like some smoke!

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@RikS Cabinet is looking very tasty.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

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