Ledaig 1993 Vintage is our Malt of the Month for February.
Firstly a hearty, malty welcome to all of our new members! We are very happy you found us, and we look forward to sharing our passion with you. We love our whisky, and know you do to – why else would you have signed up, after all? To this end you can rest assured that – like you – we love trying new and exotic malt whiskies, and our mission is to source whiskies that are not to be found in your local bottle shop. It was this desire to try as many as possible that led Andy and I to set up the SMWCA, and to our delight we’ve been amazed at how many like minded people (such as yourself) have found their way to our little corner of the internet. So sit back, strap in, hang on and enjoy the ride. We know we (and the hundreds of other members) have so far!
But enough with the salutations, lets get down to what we all came here for… single malt whisky. The closest thing to actual magic that exists in this modern world. Welcome!
The Ledaig Distillery originated as a brewery and was founded in 1798 by John Sinclair. Its location on the picturesque Isle of Mull is in the harbour village of Tobermory – a charming seaside fishing area. In 1823, the brewery was converted into a distillery. Both the distillery and village were initially known as ‘Ledaig (pronounced Led-chig). The name translates from the Gaelic tongue and translates to ‘Safe Haven’ – aptly named after the area on which the distillery sits, neatly sheltered in Tobermory Bay. Tobermory is derived from the Gaelic “Tobar Mhoire”, which means ‘Well of Mary’ and refers to the well and chapel of St. Mary. The name of the whiskies from the distillery are interchangeably Ledaig and Tobermory. There is only one distillery on Mull, and it produces both Ledaig and Tobermory.
The Isle of Mull is on the West coast of Scotland, the most beautiful of the Hebrides, attracting thousands of tourists every summer. From this wonderful island comes our Malt of the MOnth – Ledaig 1993.
Throughout Ledaig’s history, it has had several different owners and has gone through long periods of inactivity. In 1878 after 41 years of silence, the distillery was purchased by John Hopkins & Company. In 1916, Distillers Company Limited (DCL) acquired the company and in 1930, production had come to a halt. The Ledaig Distillery Limited bought it in 1972 and then three years later went into receivership. The business was then acquired in 1978 by the Kirkleavington Property Co. of Cleckheaton. Production resumed in 1979, but then fell silent again in 1985 and resumed again in 1989. In 1993, Tobermory was purchased by Burn Stewart Distillers Ltd and this expression is one of the first under the stewardship of the new owners.
Ledaig has in the past been distilled from heavily peated barley. The Ledaig 1993 Vintage expression, however, was derived from non peated barley, with the faintest whiff of fresh peat coming from the water of Mary’s well. The salty sea air of the gulf stream is captured in the flavour of the whisky, with a trace of smokiness lingering. It has a creamy mouth warming character, with dark chocolate and fudge off set by stewed pears. These flavours no doubt coming from the ageing in sherry butts. This is a flavoursome whisky, yet it is subtle with everything there, but in balance and harmony no specific feature dominating, which is just what you want!