Ledaig 1997 19 year old (Cadenhead’s)
Bottle: Cadenhead’s single cask bottling with the gold label that distinguishes it from their small batch bottlings.
Nose: Toffee, tobacco, leather and cocoa powder.
Body: Medium and oily to begin with but gets fizzy later on.
Palate: Milk chocolate, soft smoke, brine and charred pineapple.
Finish: Quite long. Burnt rubber, lemon cream and table salt. This is where the fizz is really felt. Texture like this in the finish is just great.
Neat/Ice/Water: 53.9%. Neat every time.
Verdict: Superior. While this has a strong flavour profile, it’s also quite delicate in it’s structure and it won’t take much, if any, water. Probably the most restrained Ledaig I’ve had so far, it’s very enjoyable with a lovely mineral mouth feel. It’s equal parts, sweet, salt and smoke which is what I was hoping for but not as heavy as previous expressions. The long fizzy finish is the standout component for me. A real, slow, sipping dram during the colder months for sure. You won’t find this outside of an auction now with only 252 bottles produced. The release price at Cadenhead’s was an incredibly good value £66 which I’d happily pay again. Top marks.