Some Scottish expressions adorn very unorthodox pronunciations, few that are alien, influenced from Scottish lineages and ancient lore. Pronunciations that hard-core enthusiasts almost swear by, a defining factor that immediately validates your becoming of as a whisky wizard or malt maniac – like it really should matter! Nevertheless, I do see meaning in taking the effort to pronounce these names correctly, more so as a form of respect to the history, cultural and traditional fabric that went into making these spirits what they are; besides it’s also a great talking point when having a tete-a-tete with a colleague, a friend or your partner(s) -jus kidding!
The Ledaig, pronounced Letch-ick (see!!) was an expression I hadn’t heard of before. Being ‘Sans Glen‘ it didn’t seem very popular nor was it making headlines. The name however was inspired from the original title given to the distillery when it was first commissioned in 1798. However since then, like most distilleries at the time had changed hands and with time had gradually adopted the name of the town, Tobermory. The Tobermory distillery is situated on the Isle of Mull, neighbours to other whisky producing Islands like the Arran or Jura. And it was during the early 1990s that the distillery began producing 2 different genres of whisky to cater to the masses, the unpeated Tobermory and the peated Ledaig.
The 10 is peated between 35 and 37 ppm distinguishing it from your average run of the mill mildly peated whiskies; standing closer to its Islay brethren. Matured in ex-bourbon American oak barrels for a minimum of 10 years, the expression is also void of any artificial colouring and chill filtration. From a design perspective, the bottle is nothing beyond mundane, nothing to brag about, however the quality of its contents are yet to be ascertained.
ABV : 46.3%
Eye : Old Gold | Non Chill Filtered, Natural Colouring
Nose : Caramel and butter, infused with brine and peat. Vanilla and wood, with the sweetness of dried fruits interrupted with sun dried tomatoes, cigarette ash, green pepper and herbal nuances.
Taste : Brown sugar and vanilla with a subtle but ever present influence of brine that is slowly embraced by char. Sweetness emanating from stone fruits, raisins and cantaloupe is interleaved with moist wood, smoke and some spice.
Finish : Vanilla, smoke and brine accompanied with moist woody and vegetal influences | Medium to Long
The play of maritime and peat, the balance between sweet fruity nuances and brine, and the viscous mouth feel provides for a delightful, enjoyable experience. The finish is longer than usual with the brine extending through all the facets of the tasting. Crisp, light hearted with good complexity, the Ledaig 10 is clearly a whisky that has not been explored amongst the commoners and hence an underdog when pitted against other “peated” non Islay whiskies.
At around AUD $82-85, this expression gives you a great run for your money with a lovely blow of peat that extends beyond the average non Islay peated whiskies, is bottled at an acceptable 46% and delivers a pleasant finish. I would highly recommend this dram if you are looking at a budget friendly peated expression that delves a milder blow as compared to the peatier Laphroaigs or Ardbegs.