Without wanting to appear like these blog posts are planned we are leaving Islay today and jumping across to the Isle of Mull and the Tobermory distillery. The Ledaig brand from the Tobermory distillery is the peated whisky which is produced in small amounts throughout the year. What makes Tobermory and Ledaig interesting and a good next step from Islay is Bunnahabhain and Tobermory are owned by the same parent company. Being owned by the same parent company they both also use the same malt supplier Diageo’s Port Ellen maltings.
Since this is an independent bottling of Ledaig I wanted to give some time to discussing the bottler Morrison & Mackay and there brand Càrn Mòr. Normally we discuss the distilleries history but we can add that into another post soon I am sure.
Morrison & Mackay are a family owned independent bottler based in Perthshire Scotland. They have their own bottling house and blending department for their range of brands. The Càrn Mòr branding is for single malt whiskies bottled from one or two casks the other brand under M&M are:
- Bruadar – Whisky liqueur
- Columba Cream – Whisky liqueur
- Range of Fruit Liqueur’s
- Old Perth – Blended Malt Whisky
- Beinn a’Cheo – Cask Strength Single Malt
- Ginger Tam’s – Mix of Whisky, honey and ginger
From the list above you can see they have quite a lot of whisky liqueur’s in their range. At their based in Perthshire they have a visitor centre and Cafe called the Columba Cafe. The location of the visitor centre is also at their head office and the map is below:
The Ledaig strictly limited 8 year old whisky is bottled at 46% ABV is unchill-filtered with a natural colour. The 875 bottles in this release came from a single refill sherry butt from 2008 and bottled in 2016. A butt is a large barrel for comparison see the below image of barrel, hogshead and butt.
This youthful, natural and honest whisky is still available from Master of Malt for £37.97 here.
The below tasting notes are after a couple of teaspoons of water:
Colour – Light golden
Nose – vegetation, green cooking apples
Palate – more sweet vegetative peat, spicy, peppery and ashy. oily mouthfeel
Finish – a wonderful gritty ashy finish with whiff’s of sultana and toffee
This Ledaig is a wonderful and honest single cask release. This is one of those simple spirit driven whiskies that proves age is not everything. The argument for always showing an age statement on a whisky is found in bottles like this. There is never an excuse to hide information for the customer. The customer might not care but I think enough of us do now that it should be a requirement that all labels give an age. If that means some current NAS whiskies change their recipe to remove younger casks then so be it. It will not necessarily make for a better end product but perhaps there will be more of a justification for the price asked.
Clearly the large refill sherry cask has not given much of a sherried fruity edge to this whisky. The whisky is too young, the wood to large and reused. That does not mean it gives nothing to the whisky or that this is a bad product. Far from the case in fact the subtle toffee edge that mixtures with the young ripe ashy spirit is a very nice contrast indeed.
The ledaig spirit I felt reminded me of the oily Ardbeg or Bunnahabhain spirits so I think I will look out the official 10 year old soon and compare these two bottles. Actually, Mull isn’t too far from me so perhaps I will make a today of it this summer.