Review – Ledaig Sinclair Series, Rioja Cask Finish
The Sinclair Series
The Rioja Cask Finish Ledaig Sinclair Series was our first #bottlekill of 2021. We were introduced to this bottle via the January Pour & Sip box – and were not disappointed.
As the first of the Sinclair Series to be released, the Rioja cask finish is a non-age statement whisky, finished in – you guessed it – Spanish Rioja casks. A nod to the Spanish ship that sank off of the Tobermory harbour more than 400 years ago, this expression is in honour of the treasure buried off the shoreline.
The Sinclair Series is a tribute to the distillery’s founder – John Sinclair. The various expressions represent the life, vibrancy, and uniqueness of the distillery.
First Impressions and Reflections
There is no denying the impressive nature of that ruby red colouring. As we have been expanding our whisky collection, we really have been struck by just how much colour has been generated in such a short ageing process. It’s a wonderful deep red, that is really bought out in later afternoon sunshine!
Although the other of The Dram Duo is a big fan of peated whiskies, I am a little bit wary and can find the smokiness overbearing. However, that was not the case with the Rioja cask finish Ledaig.
Nose: warming, red fruits, and some definite smokiness here
Palate: picking up elements of rich dark chocolate, peppery spice, cinnamon, and smoke – although not overbearing. Also getting some red fruit notes from the Rioja cask finish. A very warming taste.
Finish: quite light and fresh for a peated whisky – not too long lasting, a great introduction for those that think themselves non-peated whisky fans!
Nose: black pepper and cocoa with a smoky cigar box.
Palate: peppery warmth moving to baking spice (cinnamon, ginger and allspice), followed by a creamy dark chocolate.
Finish: Salted dark chocolate, touch of smoke and red fruity notes from the cask.
This has very quickly become one of our shelf favourites. The accessible price point and delicious flavour makes it an easy decision at the end of a long day.
We’re excited about trying other expressions within the Sinclair Series, as well as from the Tobermory distillery more generally. The Spirit Specialist recently recommended the Connoisseurs Choice Ledaig 12yo Hermitage Finish which we’re looking forward to sampling.
Do you have any favourite expressions from this distillery? Let us know what we should try next in the comments below!