Ledaig IB Side-by-Side Reviews (SMWS 42.15 vs. Cooper’s Choice 1998)

Ledaig IB Side-by-Side Review 


Recently I got my hands on a bottle of Cooper’s Choice 1998 Ledaig, so I decided to compare it head to head against SMWS Ledaig 42.15.

The specs of our contenders:

Cooper’s Choice 1998 Ledaig

  • 17 years old
  • Matured in sherry butt
  • 56.5%

SMWS 42.15

  • 19 years old
  • Ex-bourbon refill hogshead
  • 58.6%

Cooper’s Choice 1998 Ledaig

Nose: Sherry, cured meats/smoked bacon, peat, big nose.

Palate: Creamy mouth feel, peat, smoke, dark chocolate, salt, dried fruit/raisins, pepper and caramel.

Finish: Fruit, peat, pepper. Long, some nice warmth. Spice, fruit and sweetness.

Score: 90

Overall: Amazing combination of flavors. Sweet, peat, salt, spices. Complex and satisfying. A gorgeous dram.

SMWS 42.15

Nose: Sweet honey, pepper, tropical fruit, some oak complimenting the big flavors.

Palate: Warm, sweetness from honey, some slight peat notes pepper, barley and pineapple.

Finish: Long, spicy finish. Tons of pepper, this is one of the spiciest drams of have had. Numbing finish that coats your mouth and lingers on the tongue.

Score: 87.5

Overall: This bottle really opened up with time. When I first opened it, the pepper and spice was overwhelming. With some time and air, the honey, tropical fruit and peat are much more noticeable.

Originally the SMWS Ledaig worried me, my first few pours from cask strength bottles were overwhelmed by pepper and spice. This bottles have given me a newfound appreciate for this distillery. It was enjoyable to compare the similar elements between these two bottles. The sherry does a wonderful job complimenting and adding balance to the spirit. Looking forward to pouring another dram of the Cooper’s Choice in the near future.

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