Review: Ledaig 21 Year Old 1992 Single Malt Scotch Whisky (WM Cadenhead Small Batch) / by Jason Hambrey

21 Years
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Tobermory (Tobermory, Scotland)

An independent bottling of a small batch of 21 year old Ledaig barrels by Cadenhead, distilled in 1992.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Date: N/A

  • Bottling Code: 2013

Lots of oak here! Also coconut and vanilla, and light corn husks (what? A bourbon cask?). And some very interesting, creamy, tropical fruit – mangosteen and guanabana. Quite bright. A bit farmyard-y as it sits out. Nutty, dense, and oaky. Light licorice as well. If you take careful time with this – you find a good bit of complexity, especially as wisps of smoke weave their way in and out.

The palate is full of malt, light vegetal notes (fennel frongs, celery leaf), with a good dose of fresh oak in the mix as well. The tropical notes continue on as well. Not a whole lot of peat or smoke to be found when it is watered down, if not for a touch of ash on the creamy, tropical finish. At full strength, the vegetal, sooty, peat comes through toward the end – it is, in fact, a source of great intrique and complexity. I love the subtle, creamy, tropical notes.

The finish has oak, vanilla, and holds lots of oaky spices. And a touch of sooty peat. The tropical nature continues. And some wood tannins. At first, I thought this lacked good integration and complexity – but as I have taken more time with it my opinion has changed, although it is still quite subtle.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, based on $168.