A huge fan of peated malts, it should come as no surprise to you that the Isle of Islay is one of my very favorite whisky regions. But of course those 240 square miles of land at the western shore of Scotland are not the only place in the world where smokey drams are being produced. About thirty kilometres north of the Islay lies the Isle of Mull, for example. Its only whisky distillery, Tobermory, produces two lines of Scotch. First, there is an unpeated expression going by the Tobermory name. And second, there is a peated version sporting the Ledaig monicker. When I attended the Hanse Spirit whisky fair last weekend, I made it my mission to bring home a single cask bottling “of each”. While I found an excellent Tobermory 21yo at the booth of Cadenhead’s, my longing for a Ledaig was stilled at the stand of Bremer Spirituosen Contor, the German importer of Douglas Laing. There, I tried this great single cask bottling of an 11 years old Ledaig from the Old Particular series. It was so full of sea air, shortcrust pastry and smoke fumes that I had to take a second look at the label to double-check its Mull heritage. I could have sworn I had just tasted an Islay dram – and given my love for that island, I could hardly think of a bigger compliment for a peated malt.
Eye: Light and yellowish with an ashen hue.
Nose: Tobermory’s signature sniff of sea air calls the shots here. In this dram, it is accompanied by the sweet scent of cookie dough and pistachio creme. In the back, the smoke lies in wait…
Palate: Ah, here it is! An ashy puff of peat smoke unfolds in the mouth. Amidst this fumy cloud, we also get to discover a variety of sweet and syrupy flavors as well as a slight bitterness.
Finish: If I had tasted this whisky blindly, I would have bet 10 bucks that it was an Islay malt. But no way! It was distilled on the Isle of Mull and its sturdy finish shows that they know how to make excellent peat bombs over there, too!
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Island of Mull)
Age: 11 Years
Cask: Refill Hogshead
No. of bottles: 143
Alc. volume: 48.4%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~75.00 Euro
More info: http://www.douglaslaing.com/ (Bottler) ; http://www.bremerspirituosencontor.de/ (Importer)