...and tonight it is this Ledaig from one of the best quality vintages of the Tobermory distillery (so far). This dram confirms that with a delicate and flawless modern profile which does not go for the cheap thrills but for balance and distillate character instead. Ledaig from the mid-nineties was and still is a good deal - imagine the heavy bucks you have to pay for an Islay dram of a comparable age these days...
The colour is pale gold and the nose offers a delicate toffee-peaty-fruity profile without too much wood influence, exactly as I like it. This certainly is a modern profile but a pretty nice one - the sometimes annoying cheesy notes from older vintages have been converted into rather tasty sourdough bready impressions which is a good deal (according to my olfactory cells).
The taste is impressive on a full load of spices lead by mighty vanilla impressions which quickly turn into toffee flavours and later together with the molten barley sugars into a delicious liquid crème brûlée-alike. The peat plays a nice counterpart to this rather sweet setting with tasty bitter-smoky-ashy notes while the woods stay in the background but provide a firm structure to the dram. This is an excellent and balanced mix of flavours which does not require a lot of experience to be checked out but it is very enjoyable, and dangerously quaffable!
The initial mouthfeel is warming and nicely coating without distracting moments. The finish is of medium length and adds more barley sugars and notes of high-grade vegetable oils which I like. Again no distracting bitter or astringent moments here, the wood is just about perfect in this setting. Water releases more aromas in the nose (earthy, chalky-mineral, ashy) and turns the taste smoother - I like this dram both neat and somewhat reduced (another characteristic of a great malt).