Ledaig Marsala Finish 58.1%ABV Re-review.

ledaig marsala cask

I reviewed this bottling on March 29th 2021, and i was kindly sent another sample by my whisky friend Gareth – @Jenkaloid. This time iv’e been able to sit down with it for quite a while, lets see what what i get this time.

Appearance

I’d say it’s a mixture of deepish gold and burnt orange in colour. It has a syrupy thick swirl line which beads up to produce thick ripple effect legs and small teardrops.

Nose

Firstly the ABV strength slaps you, and it brings a lovely warming feeling . Nosing it with an open mouth I can taste it on the back of my palate, and initially it’s very smoke and dunnage heavy,

Iv’e been walking in a forest and then walked out of it into a meadow full of flowers, the smell of sweet fragranced perfume hangs in the air. Somewhere off in the distance is a beach bonfire cooking bacon, that’s getting stronger, as if I’m walking towards it.

Punnets of fresh red berries come forward, cranberries are very evident, along with a cold glass of cherryade on a summers day. Aromas and flavours become darker from here.

ABV strength doesn’t relent at all, even as the nose develops, and now i’m sitting in a carpenters workshop surrounded by various woods, some of which has a fresh coat of varnish on them.

Freshly poured smoked/charred hickory infused coffee sits on a workbench with a slice of sticky glistening fruit cake. Cloves, dates and other stewed dark fruit aromas mix beautifully with the coffee.

Bitterness comes with cigar leaves and black liquorice bring the nose to a close. I’ve sat nosing this long enough, time to taste.

Palate

Nice mouthfeel, it’s not syrupy at the moment, but it is pretty decent. The ABV on the palate is still very evident, but doesn’t blow your hat off like the nose does initially.

I’m now sitting close to that far distant bonfire that the nose caught smell of. The fire is dying out now, the meat has been cooked. Barbecued bacon sits on a plate with fruity brown sauce beside it.

Fresh red berries and tropical fruits create a juicy fruit medley on a platter. Red apple skins and sugared lemon jelly sweets that were a real treat as a child. It is very “jammy”.

Flavours are easily accessible, there’s no need to chase them. The mouthfeel improves with time, it does become quite syrupy.

Yoghurt coated cherry fruit bars, and Soreen malt loaf, appear before the finish. It has a weight to it, a density, a feeling of filling you up.

Finish

Long, very long, and it’s a spicy/fruity mash up, I’m thinking a pickled fruit mix. Ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom with spicy marmalade 😍🥰

As it stretches out I’m getting a touch of eucalyptus, Jammy dodger biscuits, starburst chewy sweets, or Opal fruits for us oldies.

Black pepper, cask char, slight tannins, and black liquorice close the finish. I feel like i’m sitting outside a cafe drinking espresso on a fresh spring morning.

My thoughts

Iv’e tasted this whisky twice now. I ranked this whisky 1st or 2nd during a blind tasting a while ago, i loved it.

I have to confess that i do have a “thing” for Ledaig whiskies. I learnt more about peat by drinking their whisky. I do get excited by Ledaig whiskies, and thankfully they have created a wide range of whiskies, which show beautifully the versatility of their spirit, in my opinion.

Tobermory distillery have crafted a belter with this bottling in my opinion. It’s definitely worth trying it if you get the chance.

Would i buy a bottle?

As one of the best bottlings iv’e tasted this year i have to say yes. Some may miss the medicinal aromas and flavours that come with Islay peat, so if that type of peat profile isn’t your thing this whisky could well be for you.


Note – This whisky is natural coloured, non chill filtered and cask strength.

Thanks to – @Jenkaloid

Image credit – @MckWhisky.

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