Whiskey Review: Ledaig 10 Year Old

Ledaig 10 Year Old

image courtesy Savannah Weinstock/copyright The Whiskey Wash

Ledaig (meaning ‘safe haven’ in Gaelic, and pronounced “lea-chick”) is the peated expression offered by the Tobermory Distillery, located on the isle of Mull. Mull, located in the Hebridean Isles, is a neighbor to other famous whisky producing islands such as Islay, Jura, and Arran. Established in 1798 under the original name Ledaig, Tobermory remains the only distillery on Mull (although there were other distilleries on the isle during the formation of Tobermory, they were not necessarily above board operations).

Tobermory has passed through many hands and seen many opening and closings of its doors throughout its existence, but is currently owned by liquor conglomerate Distell, which acquired Burn Stewart Distillers as a whole in 2013. Burn Stewart houses other notable Scotch whisky brands such as Bunnahabhain, and a few less known brands. Despite bureaucracy of business practices, Ledaig remains a more affordable island whisky with interesting production.

In from Port Ellen Maltings on Islay, Ledaig’s malt is lightly peated to 37ppm before being delivered. The water used in production flows from a private lake near the Mishnish Lochs, to the Tobermory River, flowing underneath island peat fields as it makes its way to the distillery. This combination of peated elements give Ledaig much of its character.

Tasting Notes:

Ledaig 10 year is a light golden yellow in the bottle, and an even lighter more delicate lemon yellow in the glass. This makes approaching the nose quite the surprise

The nose is medicinal and peaty, with notes of iodine, butterscotch, fresh cut grass, and warm wildflower honey. Over all a beautiful bouquet on the nose, warm and rounded. As the nose opens it becomes perfumed and floral, with the iodine and medicinal notes fading into the background—all the while displaying a unique island scent unlike that of Islay whiskies.

On the palate, Ledaig is big and oily, briny and full of driftwood flavors. Burnt vegetation, seaweed, and ash mix with brown sugar and spice. Very bitter chocolate finish.

The finish expands from the oiliness on the palate to a very salty, briny, smoky round finish. A lovely finish to be sure.

Conclusion:

Ledaig 10 year is an interesting and beautiful alternative for those looking to explore island whiskies outside of Islay, but who don’t want to break the bank. It proves a worthy competitor for bigger peat monsters such as Laphroaig and Lagavulin, with its delicate peat and sweet brine.

Score: 94/100 [SHOP FOR A BOTTLE OF LEDAIG 10 YEAR OLD]

About the author

Savannah Weinstock

I am a graduate of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR whose Environmental Studies thesis focused on “Scotch Whisky, Sustainability, and Commodification of Nature & Culture”. While writing my thesis, I spent time living and studying in Glasgow, Scotland where I visited and interviewed distilleries nationwide, concentrating on the Hebridean Isles. I am currently working in the industry getting up-close and personal with whisk(e)y, spirits, and cocktails every day.