Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A treat from the Isle of Mull

Ledaig 10-Year-Old, is a slightly confusing dram. Hailing from the Herbridean island of Mull it is the peated expression from the Tobermorey distillery. Due mostly to the current demand for peated whisky it now makes up around 50% of the distillery output and this, most recent expression, is bottled at 46.3%.

It is un-chilfiltered and the peat itself comes from Port Ellen, Islay and being around 40ppm should make it similar to Lagavulin. Or so you might think. The peat on the nose and palate is quite different to what you get in an Islay whisky, the fire is still there with notes of leather and burnt wood but the sea air seems less present having instead a more vegetal earthy peat aroma. There is a pleasant sweetness to the nose with an oiliness that leads you pleasantly towards the palate. Here is where it gets odd, I cant decide what to make of the palate, leather and liquorice hang around the periphery while a good amount of pepper and spice hold it together but there is something missing. The dram seems a little thin especially considering the bottling strength. It is in no way unpleasant but it is like an under performing pupil, the most disappointment is delivered by the one with the most potential to really shine. I think this has also influenced how I have interpreted the finish, the earthiness of the peat returns but just doesn't quite last long enough for me, leaving you with only faint leather notes to remember it by.

This is by no means a bad whisky, a great gift as it offers plenty of peat at an affordable level and bottling at this abv certainly seems shrewd. I am slightly intrigued as to why the box and bottle repeatedly state that is un-chilfitered, perhaps they are being slightly defensive over the thinness of the overall dram. However there is great promise in this expression,  hopefully this will bring further stability to a distillery famed for its closures and allow it  to go on to release something truly brilliant in the near future.

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