Following your favorite whisky brands and folks on social media is a good idea. First and foremost, it helps you to stay up to date about new releases, interesting developments and special offers. Plus, it might even get you something extra from time to time. Recently, this happened to me on a Facebook site called “Bunnahabhain & Family Deutschland / Deanston, Tobermory & Ledaig”. There, the wonderful Chantalle Seidler – who is the German brand ambassador for all of the Distell Group’s Scotch whisky distilleries – ran a spontaneous little give-away. Everyone who named the write answer to her question got a surprise package. When mine arrived, I was really psyched! Besides the miniature set “Eine Schottische Whiskyreise” (“A Scottish Whisky Journey”), it also included a trio of top-class limited edition samples from Tobermory Distillery. In detail, these were the Tobermory 12 Years Old Port Pipe Finish (2007/2020), the Ledaig 19 Years Old Oloroso (1996/2005) and the Ledaig 12 Years Old PX Cask Finish (2007/2020). After a wee waiting time in my whisky shelf, the tasteful trio’s big hour came on the long Easter weekend: Enjoying them one after another, I wrote tasting notes for all of them. That was great fun! But it also brought up an existential question: Where do I still find a full bottle of that PX-finished Ledaig for a reasonable price? Well … wish me luck, guys. And read on in case you are curious to learn more about the three cracking drams I won in Chantalle’s recent social media give-away.
Tobermory 2007 Port Pipe Finish
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Port Pipe Finish • 58.6% • 3,101 bottles)
Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover; or a whisky by its color. When I poured this 12-year-old Tobermory into my glass, I already knew that I would be up for something special. The spirit’s bright, orange hue was all the foreshadowing I needed to form that assumption. And indeed: The first nose fully met the expectations that had built up in my mind. I found the bouquet to be strong, fruity, velvety and a wee bit spicy all at once. My first association was fresh apple puree with several spoonfuls of cinnamon poured on top. Other smells were those of squeezy oranges, juicy plums, buttered pancakes and caramelized hazelnut splinters. Now the first sip: It starts a tad sourish and bitterish with lemon juice and grapefruit pulp. When you give it a little time, the liquid turns warmer and softer. Bit by bit, the mix gets enhanced by garden fruits, beeswax, nut cookies and dark chocolate sauce. The complexion is full-bodied, weighty and oily. Yes – in that regard this rich single malt Scotch whisky from the Isle of Mull does not disguise its coastal heritage! The finish then emphasizes on the fruits again: berries, brambles, apples, even kiwis. And, not to forget, different kinds of citrus zests. Additionally, there is also some darkened butter toast with a heavy layer of plum jelly on top. Or is it blackberry jam? I cannot decide … but one way or another, it is a great final note to a very fine dram!
Ledaig 1996 Oloroso
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Oloroso casks • 46.3% • ? bottles)
Before I could squeeze the juice out of it, someone came along and stomped their cigarette butt right into my fresh-cut lemon half. – That’s what the splashy and smokey bouquet of this Ledaig 19 Years Old from an oloroso cask reminds me of. If you are a peat fan, you will understand the appeal of this unusual but delicate description. Next up, the palate produces an assortment of creamy, sweetish and smoky notes. It has green smoothie, butter cookie, light-colored grape and orange peel as well as a fierce and fiery smokiness. The aftertaste lasts. It is sweet and well rounded by the years. Its most striking flavors are those of vanilla pudding, cocktail cherries, whipped cream, tangerines and fluffy cake – all coated in a thin layer of cigarillo ash.
Ledaig 2007 PX Cask Finish
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • PX finish • 55.5% • 1,345 bottles)
I love that nose! The ex-bourbon cask maturation and the long PX finish have had a most amazing effect on Ledaig’s fresh and smoky spirit. Besides ash and coal, I also smell cold brew, raspberry and orange as well as zests, herbs and (lotsa) spices. And something dark, earthy. In the mouth the whisky is very sweet, heavy, oily and good. Nah … not just good … great! I get a wonderful mixture of strawberry jam, orange peel, cocoa powder, green apple, maple syrup and burned raisin. Plus, a variety of mineral notes and smokey ambers. The ABV is aptly interwoven and the balance between drinkability and sophistication is spot on. The finish has a beautiful chimney wood character. Underneath the sooty smoke, there is a lot of sweetness: marmalade, raisin, brittle, cough candy and treacle. Oh yes … in the beginning, I said I loved the nose of the Ledaig 2007 PX Cask Finish. But now I have to extend that claim. I love the palate and the finish, too!
Tobermory 2007 Port Pipe Finish (Single Malt / Islands/ 12yo / Port finish / 58.6% / ~120 Euro)
Ledaig 1996 Oloroso (Single Malt / Islands / 19yo / Oloroso sherry casks/ 46.3% / ~160 Euro)
Ledaig 2007 PX Cask Finish (Single Malt / Islands / 12yo / PX finish / 55.5% / ~120 Euro)
*** Whisky samples won in a Facebook give-away run by Distell Group. ***