The last dram was a powerful and imposing one from the Isle of Mull. The peated spirit from the Tobermory distillery is known as Ledaig. The name Ledaig was the original name for the distillery which dates from 1798 until the name change in 1918 to Tobermory.
The distillery was built in 1798 on the Isle of Mull by a Mr John Sinclair which is only 10 years younger than the village of Tobermory. Like all distilleries of that age (pretty much) it has had a chequred history of boom and bust. Currently under the ownership of Distell Group alongside Bunnahabhain and Deanston in Scotland. They are a South African outfit with a wealth of experience in the brewing and distilling industry and have been investing heavily of late.
The distillery is getting a major refit and won’t be producing whisky for another year yet. The visitor centre is still open to the public though although the tour may be less interesting with only building works going on. I have noticed that the other distilleries in the portfolio like Deanston and Bunnhabhain visitor shops stock each others whiskies including Tobermory and Ledaig so you don’t have to travel out to the Isle of Mull if you don’t want to.
As usual this is cask strength and bottled in a natural state. The whisky was distilled in 2008 and bottled in 2018 with a strength of 54.3% ABV. A bottle will cost you between £55 and £60 and there is 304 bottles out there so this is the most available one in the set. Ledaig generally is widely available in the independent scene as it is sold as white spirit to a number of bottlers and blenders.
Colour – almost clear
Nose – That characterful cheesy rich Ledaig smoke which is such a trademark of the distillery. The coastal seafood notes of a market are in here as well.
Palate – The texture is not quite as thick as some of the others but its much younger. There is more of the rich smoke from this spirit led whisky. Like Laphroaig this is an acquired taste with a lot of intensity.
Finish – A relatively short finish with a coastal influence of brine and crashing waves on a winter’s day walk along the beach.
There is nothing bad or wrong with this whisky. The only thing that nags at me a little is that I have tried quite a few spirit led Ledaig’s around a decade old and they are all fairly similar. Am I getting more from the experience than the much cheaper Ledaig 8 Year Old 2008 – Strictly Limited (Càrn Mòr) I don’t think so. In terms of other cask strength varieties the Ledaig 11 Year Old 2005 (cask 900161) – Single Malts of Scotland (Speciality Drinks) single cask was more expensive but had zesty orange notes alongside the coastal and mineral notes.