Today I'm reviewing a dram from one of my favourite independent bottler, Firkin Whisky Co. This is their latest release, a 2008 Ledaig under their 'Rare' label.
As with all their whiskies, Firkin Rare Ledaig 2008 has had a very special maturation. It's been aged in a custom made double wood cask. Firkin take two casks, one American Oak, one European Oak. They ask a professional cooper to break these two casks down. The cooper then takes staves from each, and combines them into one new cask. This unique approach makes a 'double wood', 'single cask'.
But, Firkin's magic doesn't stop there. They season this cask with a fortified wine. Seasoning is where a cask is filled with a particular liquid, so that the cask takes on extra flavours. For this release, Firkin have paired the 2008 Ledaig with Marsala wine. Marsala is a sweet fortified wine from Sicily.
Firkin have bottled this single cask at their signature strength of 48.9%. As with all their whiskies, they've kept it natural colour and non chill filtered.
Firkin Rare Ledaig Ex Marsala Tasting Notes
Colour: Natural colour: medium amber. Coats my copita with oily legs running down the side of the glass.
Nose: Soft, sweet smoke mingles with tropical notes. Like snacking on mango next to a fire on some beach far, far away. Or, closer to home, barbecuing sticky pineapple nears the woods on an Autumn evening. A definite meaty note, like glazed pork ribs or honey roast gammon. And that meat is seasoned with chilli, pepper, and cloves.
Palate: Medium to full mouthfeel. That meaty Ledaig spirit works so well with the sweet Marsala wine. As on the nose, glazed pork ribs over the BBQ, where smoke acts as a seasoning - complimenting, not overpowering. Sweetness with tropical fruits like mango and pineapple, as if you have a cocktail to go with those ribs. Or a taco, crammed with juicy pork, lime, and pineapple. The alcohol is well integrated, adding body and a gentle spice - with no burn.
Finish: Medium length finish. Sticky glazed pork which melts in your mouth, leaving a balance of sweetness and spice.
Firkin Ledaig 2008 Review
This is a lovely whisky. I could sit and nose this for hours - let alone drink it. A great example of a high quality spirit brought to a new level by excellent maturation. If you're into your peat and Ledaig, you'll love this. If you don't normally like smokey whiskies, I'd definitely suggest giving this a go. The smoke is gentle, it's like an extra note to food - rather than being (too) big and bold.
And, if you'd like another opinion: why not watch Vin from No Nonsense Whisky review this dram in his YouTube video here: