...and it does. Again a flawless and tasty Ledaig that is on eye-level with Islay drams of a comparable age (e.g., Kilchoman). It shows some interesting flavours when reduced and it is very quaffable, no doubt.
The colour is pale gold and the nose offers an interestingly fresh malty-peaty profile which is on par with Islay drams of a comparable age. This time I can comprehend the tasting notes of Cadenhead - yes, this is grassy, oily and herbal with fine barley sugars in the background and appropriate but never dominating wooden notes. All is nicely balanced, just the maritime-medicinal aromas are missing (compared to Islay) because Tobermory uses mainland peat, obviously.
The taste is an amalgam of malty, peaty and wooden flavours in a close-to-perfection mix. It is not overly complex but very delicious with unusual impressions that often come with great drams (e.g., machine oils like with Springbank). The spices grow stronger upon chewing (peppers, ginger, vanilla) as do the sweet toffee notes which combine to a crème brûlée towards the finish (there it is, Cadenhead!). No flaw or off-note, and all is pretty balanced again.
The initial mouthfeel is hot (55.2% abv) and instantly coats the whole of the mouth with a creamy texture and peppery moments. I like that, it is much better than with most Islay drams these days. The finish is long and turns more spicy , maybe a little bit too much if you do not like hot profiles. But I do and to me this is okay. Some water turns both nose and taste punchier but a further reduction unlocks more interesting aromas (sooty, earthy, waxy) in the nose and smoothes the taste which now gets really charming to my taste buds. I like this dram neat and with a fair share of water (reduced to about 40% abv).