Ledaig Four Whisky Face-off (SMWS 42.22, 42.27, Old Particular 16yr and 18yr Co-op SC)

 Ledaig 4 SC Face-off (SMWS 42.22, 42.27, Old Particular 16yr and 18yr Co-op SC)

If you like the peated/Islay profile, Ledaig is one of those distilleries that until recently was overlooked. Sadly they have grown more popular recent, and prices have started to increase. Recently has the chance to sit down and drink four different Ledaig single casks, so that us see how they stacked up.

SMWS 42.22

  • 9 year
  • refill ex-bourbon
  • 59.3% ABV

Nose: Coastal, barnyard, salt, tropical fruit (mango/pineapple), lemon, smoke

Palate: Brine, earthy, smoke, mango, lemon, caramel, oily.

Finish: Smoke, brine, earthy, thyme, vanilla, citrus, mineral.

Score: 86

A very enjoyable young, smoke and brine forward release, great start to the lineup.

SMWS 42.27

  • 9 year
  • refill ex-bourbon
  • 59.4% ABV

Nose: Salt, grass, smoke, caramel, lemon, peach, ash

Palate: Creamy, vanilla, salt, smoke, earthy, mango, pepper,

Finish: Pepper, brine, earth, chili, oily, grassy, pear.

Score: 85

Everything about this was a little more mild than the 42.22, while still good the lack of punch lost it a point.

Old Particular Ledaig 16yr

  • 16 year
  • cask ??
  • 48.4% ABV

    Thanks to Bryan for bringing the sample to the tasting, because we clearly lacked enough Ledaig options to try.

Nose: Earthy, chocolate, oak, tiny bit of peat, smoke, fruity

Palate: Peat, creamy chocolate, honey, oak, pepper, fruity, mineral, muted

Finish: Mineral, earthy, mushroom less smoke, milk chocolate, pepper, short, muted, fruity, smoked bacon.

Score: 79

In short, the watering down of this cask ruined the whisky. Some nice flavors, but everything was light, and muted. Apparently Ledaig does not take very well to being watered down, especially when age has mellowed some of the brine and smoke.

G&M Ledaig Co-op 18yr

  • 18 years
  • 53.9% ABV
  • Bourbon cask?

Nose: Pineapple, mango, caramel, thought of smoke, brine, apple,

Palate: Apple, pear, caramel, smoke, honey, chocolate, creamy

Finish: Honey, pear, apple, caramel, wood, salt, touch,

Score: 86.5

Weird. Never would have guessed this was a Ledaig blind. Much less much with the age, decreased salt, but some wonderful fruit flavors. Albeit not the profile I had in mind, this was my favourite of the night.

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