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The German independent bottler Malts of Scotland released two casks of this Island whisky last year. A bourbon cask (800029) and this sherry cask (800025). I wonder how different they will be. Interestingly there was a year between the filling of these two casks. Can we still call them sistercasks then? I think not. The numbers of the casks are most likely Thomas Ewers' (the owner of MoS) and not the distillery's. This sherry cask started it's long hibernation on 3rd April 1998 and yielded 256 bottles in September 2010.
The nose, just like the Ledaig on bourbon, is very peaty, but in this case immediately upholstered with aromas that you would expect from a sherry cask. I get some toffee, raisins and dried figs. But with the next whiff comes a wave of maritime aromas: dried seaweed and brine. And then: cough syrup and licquorice. But also leather, fresh tobacco and tar... it swings back and forth for a while. Hard to put it down, actually. Adding a little water sweetens the whole and diminishes the smoke somewhat.
The attack is incredibly hot because of the cask strength. It makes it hard to concentrate on the taste. A second sips brings deliverance. I feel like trusting salted oranges to the paper. There is no such thing! A glass of brine, adorned with a slice of lime. What a cocktail that would be! Adding water brings out dark fruits and licquorice.
The finish is heavily peppered, but also very salty and ends in a bitter note. Adding water makes the finish less intense and somewhat sweet.
What a wonderful, schizofrenic whisky!
This 1998 sherry Ledaig, just like the 1997 bourbon Ledaig previously, came from a tube (one of 6) in the Malts of Scotland tasting box, that my wife gave me for my birthday last January when we visited The Hague in Holland.