Ledaig 16-Year-Old Single Cask Scotch Malt Whisky
We first tasted this cask back in 2014 when it was still a youngster. Even then, we knew it was special. The light, bright smoke doesn’t suffocate at all thanks in big part to the shape of the Tobermory stills, which maximise reflux to keep the bassier phenols in the pot. The end result is pure liquid symphony – a holistic dram that revitalises your core like a deep breath of salty sea air – and proof that you don’t need to be a masochist to enjoy a bit of peat.
Natural, pale gold
Maple-cured bacon, iodine, shortbread
Lemon drizzle cake, muscovado, smoked vanilla
Dark chocolate, seaweed
Single malt Scotch whisky must be distilled at a single distillery in Scotland, in a copper pot still, from a wash containing only malted barley, yeast and water. It must then be matured in oak – in Scotland – for no less than 3 years and bottled at 40% alc/vol minimum.
The term ‘single cask’ is used to define whisky that has been bottled exclusively from one individual cask – and since no two single casks are the same, all whiskies labelled ‘single cask’ are unique, rare and limited.
Casks are typically filled around 62-63.5% alc/vol, although this drops during maturation as spirit evaporates (known as the “angel’s share”). For typical single malt whiskies, when a cask is finally deemed ready – and ‘disgorged’ or emptied – it’s blended with other casks of the same specification and age, and brought down to a standard bottling strength with water (usually 40-46% alc/vol). ‘Cask strength’ whiskies, on the other hand, are bottled at the strength they’re drawn from cask, with nothing added or taken away. Since they tend to be much stronger than your average whisky, pour a smaller-than-normal dram into a tulip-shaped nosing glass, like the Glencairn, and have a little jug of water handy to dose in. Be careful not to over dilute the whisky though – instead, add a drop of water at a time and slowly take in the subtle changes to the flavour and aroma as it opens up. Then, once you find your sweet spot, and the ideal strength to your taste, sit back and enjoy.
Volume: 700ml (or 750ml in the US)
Strength: 57.7% ABV (cask strength)
Bottle: Custom-moulded amber glass with tapered sides
Closure: Custom debossed synthetic stopper
Capsule: Black PVC