Friday, May 08, 2015

The Ledaig Dùsgadh 42

How very lovely to be invited to the tasting of The Distell Group's new and rare release of Ledaig Dùsgadh 42 Year Old at Scotts 27 (by Le Saint Julien). You'd know that Tobermory and Ledaig are branded together from the only distillery on the Isle of Mull. The newly launched Ledaig Dùsgadh 42 has only, well, 500 bottles for the world's malt lovers. Ledaig is pronounced as Le-cheek.

Lovely of the organizers to hold this tasting at the beautiful heritage bungalow that is now Scotts 27. Its interiors feel more like a home than sparkling-posh. Scotts 27 runs like a private kitchen with only three dining rooms. Don't walk in. It's a reservations-only restaurant. It also hosts events; this evening was reserved for the whisky dinner. The four-course menu is still classically French, and very Julien Bompard. I did notice the food. At cocktails, I nibbled on a crumbly light anster from Isle of Mull Cheese.

The amuse-bouche named Scotts 27 Garden is a standard affair at its meals with a few switches of seasonal ingredients, inspired by the restaurant's garden and the plantations of the olden days, bit of a muddled purée-mousse topped with odd raspberry bits and shimeiji mushrooms. If there was chocolate or cacao in that base, it was lost. That was definitely a dish for white wine or sparkling, not with whisky. There was a very good house-cured salmon with orange marmalade, quinoa and almond medley, a mediocre starter roasted sea scallop with creamy vanilla and turnip, an interesting main of venison stew with dried fruits cooked in bread dough, and a dessert of caramelized chocolate mousse with roasted apple with ginger and cinnamon. Although it was a bit rushed for the kitchen to serve all 30 of us within 2.5 hours, it was a pretty all right pairing of flavors and whisky.

The selected malts to accompany the meal.
From right: Tobermory 10y.o, Ledaig 10y.o, Tobermory 15y.o, and Ledaig 18y.o.

Of course the focus was all on the whisky. Affable Head of Distilleries and Master Blender Ian McMillan took us through the single malts of the evening. Incidentally, this is also his forty-second year in the business. I was glad to see the Tobermory 15y.o on the menu. It's one of my favorite expressions from the distillery. Pretty much an easy winner on any occasion. Admittedly, I'm not familiar with the Ledaig, except its 18.yo. Even then, I don't usually order it as I prefer a stronger peat.

The point of the evening was the Ledaig Dùsgadh 42 Year Old. Distilled in 1972, this expression was aged in various casks to lend those unfathomable layers before it finally sat in an oloroso sherry cask for another decade or so to even out its final flavors. At ABV 46.3%, this is liquid treacle indeed, and with all the complexity of a 42y.o, with the hint of Ledaig peat that has amazingly been retained as it aged.

Thank you for having us, good people of The Whisky Store. It was a most awesome evening.

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