Monday 20 July 2020

Ledaig IB 11yo x3 Reviews: Five Lions, Cadenhead's & Whisky Barrel


Hi everyone,

Really haven’t been tasting much whisky lately and, partly due to my own laziness, haven’t been posting much either.

Today I’ve got three more Ledaig’s that I’ve been waiting patiently to share with you. I say waiting patiently because I have bottles of both the Cadenhead’s and Whisky Barrel and I’ve been seeing how they develop in the bottle (something I am not usually able to do).

So here they are, three 11 year olds:


Ledaig 11 Five Lions 57.8%

Colour: Gold with a purplish hint

Body: Medium/Full

Nose: Meaty at first, raw steak, Madeira comes through with rich fruit, plum, fig, not dissimilar from Sherry but a little more freshly fruity, salty, malty too. Great nose.

Taste: Oily arrival, silky and sweet, salty development with more intense peat, seaweed, minerals, oily, pretty full on and more savoury as it goes on with peppered steak. Quite reminiscent of Port Charlotte.

Finish: Long length. Nicely drying and fruity, leaving oils and fig.

Madeira matured, apparently fully. I really liked this though I have a feeling others won’t. Something akin to a Port Charlotte Ledaig!


Ledaig 2008 Whisky Barrel Originals 54.4%

Colour: Gold

Body: Full

Nose: Completely different to the Cadenhead's. Much more fresh with an immedaite peach yogurt thing, apricot too, fresh cream, these a saltiness behind that, along with cheap vinegar and smoked lime rind maybe? Funky and very different, I don't even get much Sherry.

With some time in the bottle there's a little chilli chocolate.

Water: Burning tires, lime rind that someone has put cigarettes out in, yogurt that someone has put cigarettes out in, a bit of creamy cheese that (you guessed it) someone has put a damned cigarette out in. Who's doing that?!

Taste: Clean, focussed arrival, oily, the peach and apricot yogurt is back, then moving into big funky smoke with those lime rinds, lots of spice with green peppercorns, balsamic vinegar (which I'm not a big fan of) and then burning tires.

After some time in the bottle, the taste becomes better balanced and less harsh. Less of the vinegar and tires.

Water: Creamy and soft, peach yogurt again, more salt, lime juice, white chocolate.

Finish: Long length. More burning tires, very intense and dry finish with spices, black and green peppercorns, and some oak.

Bottled at 11yo from a Sherry Hogshead. I had big hopes for this, but unfortunately, even after leaving it for a while, this still hasn’t opened up or lived up to the expectations. Others have found it very Sherried but I find it strange and rubbery in the extreme. A shame.



Ledaig 2005 Cadenhead's Authentic 61.8%

Colour: Light Amber

Body: Full

Nose: Meaty, dirty and in-your-face, quite gravelly too, raw peppered steak, game and venison, chocolate raisins, plum, brandy and cigar ash. More of the dirt now with freshly tilled earth and freshly laid tarmac fumes,

Water: More ashy Lagavulin-y smoke, darkly savoury with steak and dark chocolate, maybe a touch of coffee.

Taste: Perfect arrival, clean and singing, dry and serious, very intense, juicy lime, incredible smoke and oils joining seamlessly and building in intensity, powerful for sure but the balance achieved here is pretty good considering, good amount of funk, green peppercorns, olives, rare steak and a little burnt rubber into the finish.

Water: Not quite as balanced and actually more intense and powerful with big smoke, big spices and very dry. Quite tannic too.

Finish: Long length. A bit of burnt rubber here, more green peppercorns and some oak creeping through.

Bottled 2017 at 11yo from a Butt. Shame that the finish throws this a little off kilter, still amazing stuff, though I prefer it neat. Blows the Whisky Barrel Originals out of the water. Very happy to have a 2nd bottle tucked away.



Thanks for reading!

Updated Distillery rankings

Scotch Reviews #854-#856

Whisky Network Reviews #1027-#1029

Network Average: 75.2

Best Score: 94

Worst Score: 12

0-49 Terrible

50-59 Bad

60-64 Just About OK

65-69 Ok to Good

70-74 Good

75-79 Very Good

80-84 Excellent

85-89 Superb

90+ Magnificent


Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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