Ledaig – Smoky Trail

Ledaig Smoky Trail – Virtual Tasting Experience

As you may have seen a couple of months ago we participated in the Tobermory Sherry Influence virtual tasting and absolutely LOVED it. Manoeuvring around various diary clashes, we were finally able to attend the Ledaig Smoky Trail evening! These are our tasting notes ..

Distillery History

We were joined by our favourite Tobermory double-act, Olivier and Diana, as well as other guests on Zoom. Following suit with the previous tasting it was a beautiful evening, with lots of opportunity to ask questions, and fantastic insight from our two hosts. We’d taken their previous advice and let the individual drams sit for about 20 minutes in their glasses to breathe.

Further information on the Tobermory distillery, and how they make their two distinct spirits can be found on our previous review.

Tasting Notes

Ledaig 10 y/o – 46.3% ABV

Nose: vanilla, oak, cereal, nutmeg, honey and whispers of smoke
Palate: dried fruits (sultanas, raisins and apricots), honey, oak and black pepper fruit throughout, and a very rounded mouth feel
Finish: more peppery spice and smoke, a nice medium finish that coats the tongue like in a waxy way

An introduction to their core-range and the Ledaig palate, before adding in the various cask influences. Gorgeous golden colour, and easily accessible peated dram. We would highly recommend getting a bottle of this for your ‘every-day’ whisky shelf.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Sinclair Series – 46.3%

Nose: light smoke, rose water, red berries, mulled/stewed red fruits, jam sweetness and hints of cut grass
Palate: smoke from the beginning, plums, red grapes, hints of nuts
Finish: light peaty smoke and a hint of white pepper followed by the unmistakeable notes of red fruits and rioja

We have waxed lyrical about this whisky across our social media, and even compared it to the Gordon & MacPhail Hermitage Ledaig expression. So it’s not surprise we loved it in this tasting too! A deep rose red colour opens up to a palate awash with red fruits, nuts, and an undertone of smoke.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Bordeaux Cask 10 y/o – 56.9

Nose: stewed plums, citrus peel, tropical fruits (pineapple and mango), red berries (strawberries, raspberry and red currants), sweetness from caramel
Palate: red Fruits, vanilla, creamy, lots of nutty notes
Finish: white pepper, oak spice and smoky peat to finish

This is another great whisky from Tobermory. We really enjoy red-wine cask influences and this is no exception. Plenty of fruit and sweetness, balanced nicely with the smoky elements this tasting is all about. The mahogany colour to this whisky really sets the scene; they do say you taste with your eyes first! The higher ABV adds a lovely richness to the whisky, that really brings forward the deeper fruit flavours.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sherry Cask 18 – 46.3% ABV

Nose: sherry fruits, vanilla, brine and whisps of smoke
Palate: creamy, British fruit salad, honey, vanilla, more undertones of smoke
Finish: rich, oily, fresh fruit with yoghurt and honey, more pronounced smoke and a medium length

This amber whisky is an incredible addition to the Tobermory/Ledaig range and our favourite from this tasting. Smoke is ever present but not overpowering, the nose is a teaser and gradually as you sip and enjoy the smoke becomes more pronounced. There are lots of fresh fruit notes there but also the unmistakable sherry fruits coming through also; all balanced with sweetness from honey and vanilla.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

2008 Masala Cask – 58.1% ABV

Nose: brine, damp soil, grilled pineapple and butterscotch
Palate: oak spice, brine, vanilla, butterscotch, honey and an oily texture
Finish: smoky oak spice

Very punchy at 58.1% ABV and adding a couple of drops of water did open this up. Much like the Bordeaux cask we feel the whisky needs the cask strength ABV to extract the top flavour notes. Lots of sweet, salty and spicy notes, it has a medium body and rich flavour profile.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Final Thoughts

The two of us cannot speak highly enough of this distillery. Their virtual events are always warm and inviting; not to mention the variety of flavours in their whisky! We’re convinced their Master Distiller is magic!

The smoke notes of these whiskies vary quite a lot to the typical medicinal smoky notes of an Islay whisky, and feel like a great place to start introducing new or skeptical whisky drinkers to the wonders of peat. he smoke here is more like BBQ’s, Fire pits and Bonfires. If you can still get your hands on this tasting set we would recommend it!

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