83.3/100 – Whiskybase (average from 1195 member votes)
Ledaig, the peated Tobermory, is not something you’d give to a novice whisky drinker, unless they have very eclectic taste buds. But once you’re a regular sipper, or looking for something different to Islay peat, Ledaig has a lot to offer. Not that I’m any sort of Ledaig expert. It’s another whisky where I’m guilty of enjoying my first experience but then not following it up with another example. Slap my wrist….but let me put my glass down first!
My previous experience of Ledaig was an NAS that’s long been discontinued. It was slightly rough around the edges but I could taste the potential this spirit would have with a bit more time in the cask. The 10-year-old seems like a suitable upgrade and reviews suggest this is an excellent dram. Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible says “almost a Bowmore in disguise, such are its distinctive cough sweet qualities. Massive peat; easily one of the highest phenol Ledaigs of all time. But, as usual, a slight hiccup on the technical front. Hard not to enjoy it, though.” His score of 85.5/100 classifies the Ledaig 10yo as ‘good to excellent whisky, definitely worth buying’.
Comments online about the Ledaig 10yo include, “I knew the maritime peat, the medicinal peat, here is the filthy peat!”, “It’s a shame that this one isn’t talked about very much, because it’s spectacular!” and “Wow. This is one of the nicest peated youngish whiskeys out there. Better than Ardbeg 10 and other rivals.”
Tasting notes from Master of Malt:
Nose: Quite light and well-balanced. There is a very soft peat with a gentle smoke. Notes of barley and malt extract, with walnut and pine oil and a hint of iodine, dried fruit and nuts.
Palate: Medium-bodied and quite rich. There are notes of spice and smoke gathering above the charred oak. The peat is quiet and dry with a touch of black pepper and earth.
Finish: Medium-length and slightly smoky with spice.
Here’s Andy of Malt Box on YouTube (November 2020) with his thoughts on the Ledaig 10yo:
There I was, minding my own business and not thinking about Tobermory whisky, when Morrisons supermarket reduced it to a tempting price. I still have the miniature 10yo I posted about on my blog last year! I haven’t tasted it but at 46.3% alcohol, non-chill filtered, and getting good reviews, why not have the full 70cl?! I didn’t take much convincing to buy it. I can now split the miniature with my brother during a tasting session in the knowledge I have plenty more where that came from!
The rating for the Tobermory 10yo hasn’t changed from 2013 to 2014 in the Whisky Bible, remaining at an excellent 85/100 which is “very good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying”. I’ve included the Malt Maniacs rating which, at 79/100, is also a very good mark.
Sadly no review from the Whisky Bible or Ralfy for this one so I’m out on a wing and a prayer. In general the versions of the Ledaig score pretty well in the bible with the 12yo going as high as 90/100. Two versions of the 10yo get in the mid eighties but one unfortunately only crawls in with 63/100. Let’s hope this NAS hasn’t got some of the latter in it! But what attracted me to this particular bottle was a) it’s price (less than £20 for a full 70cl) and b) general comments on forums that it was a good entry-level malt. Not necessarily sophisticated but at the same time you’re not going to spit it out over the cat. Unless you’re wanting a mad malty moggy eating your face in gratitude! 🙂
Update (January 2016) – Unfortunately this Ledaig has been discontinued but bottles are still available in certain stores as well as at auction. Whiskybase list it here where it scores a respectable 76.71 from 37 member votes. Below is a video review by Mark Dermul about this Ledaig and I agree with him that it’s extremely drinkable!