Origin: Isle of Mull (Scotland)
Type: Single Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon barrel
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Valinch & Mallet Ltd.
Average price: € 120.00
Official website: www.valinchandmallet.com
You can’t say that the Ermoli & Romano duo, the two thinking (and drinking) heads behind the Valinch & Mallet label, are lacking in inventiveness and a desire to have fun, which in a sector like whisky, where passion must be the main component, can never be lacking.
And after the third edition of The Spirit of Art (with two bottlings of rum) and a special bottling for the latest MWF (an eleven-year-old Glenrothes), here comes the fourth incarnation for the series embellished with works of art, four bottles united by a theme that certainly doesn’t go unnoticed: The Peat(y)ful Pack Madness.
Peat(y)ful bottles from four different distilleries and four different maturation profiles, always distinguished by the back labels (this time also visible from the front), created by Rovereto-based illustrator Laurina Paperina, who has managed to translate the crazy joyfulness of an idea born in concert with Davide Romano at the beginning of 2020 (does this period ring a bell?) into her own stroke and which has finally seen the light of day.
Let’s start with a distillery that I personally hold dear to my heart, a 2008 ex-Bourbon barrel that produced 303 cask strength bottles at the end of 2021.
On the nose, Ledaig’s signature is as clear as Picasso’s, a dirty, mineral peat that brushes the nostrils with its acrid tones veined with grapefruit, cooked pear, thyme, lychee, wet leaves and gunpowder. Given the last note expressed, the wisp of smoke that underlies the aromas takes on an almost ominous sense, but veers more towards reassuring barbecued chestnuts. Pungent.
Crisp and lively in the mouth but without the alcoholic bite, the herbaceous soul transcends into aromatic herbs with balsamic traits, with a distinct citrus component, suspended between chinotto and orange, which accompanies cloves, tamarind and peanut skins. The mineral component is always lively, accompanied by ash mixed in seawater.
The finish is rather long and dry, of dirt, citrus, unlit cigar, toasted celery, cooked chestnuts.
The brutal soul of Ledaig is either loved or hated, especially when it expresses itself in a single cask with no half measures. In the ex-Bourbon casks it perhaps finds companions who know how to tame it (a little) by rounding off its edges, but the fun of such peculiar dirty notes is never quenched.
Reviews of Ledaig whisky in the blog:
Cadenhead’s Ledaig 22yo
Chorlton Whisky Ledaig 10yo
Ledaig Rioja Cask Finish
SMWS: April 2021 Outturn
Valinch & Mallet Ledaig 10yo
Valinch & Mallet Ledaig 25yo
Wilson & Morgan Ledaig 2008