Tobermory is the only distillery on the beautiful Isle of Mull. It was founded in 1798 under the name Ledaig. The distillery has been alternally called Tobermory and Ledaig throughout its history.
Its present day name is Tobermory but they use both brand names. They distill six months a year a peated spirit under the Ledaig brand and an unpeated spirit for the remainder of the year. This unpeated single malt carries the name Tobermory.
The Whisky Mercenary is the alter ego of the Belgian independent bottler Jürgen Vromans. At the end of 2014 he bottled a young Ledaig as a peaty alternative to the Islay malts that are getting harder to get hold of.
The name 'Ledaig' (to be pronounced as 'let-chick') means 'safe haven' in Gaelic.
Identity Card The Whisky Mercenary Ledaig 2005
- The Whisky Mercenary Ledaig 2005
- Tobermory Distillery, Ledaig (Isle of Mull)
- 8yo single cask
- 51.3% ABV
- Distilled in 2005 - bottled in 2014
Nose: An aroma of vegetal peat immediately fill the room. Forget Airwick or those fancy perfumes. Just poor a dram of this Ledaig. Brine, seaweed and a wet beach. Fruit porridge for adults with vanilla and a shot of rakija. Blue grapes and stewed pears. Sweet paint. What a lovely nose!
Mixed with water you're treated to some wood stain and old pipe tobacco. It gets a bit sweeter over time. Ginger and oranges. Dried apricots and meat sauce. Pink marshmallow and a subtle hint of chlorine.
Taste: A creamy and greasy mouthfeel. Creosote, ash and smoke. A mix of roasted nuts. Very few sweet notes on the palate. Peper and first aid box. Dried black tea.
With water we're back with the sweetness. Pink marshmallows straight from the bonfire. A slightly bitter note of walnuts and coffee grounds. Dark cacao. A chocolate fondue next to a blazing fire.
Finish: The nutty character remains. A long medicinal and warm aftertaste. A shot of espresso.
Price: €69 (Jurgen's Whiskyhuis)
Most of the Whisky Mercenary's picks are safe blind buys. So is this one. If you know what to expect of young Ledaig, this will not disappoint you. It ticks all the right boxes of an Islay alternative. Look hard and you still might find a bottle of it.
Pictures: The Whisky Mercenary