Scotch Whisky Review #427: Old Malt Cask “Hebridean Mulligan” (Ledaig) K&L Pick 23 Year Blended Malt (1997)
Distillery: Blended Malt. Ledaig with “a tiny amount of 23 year old Talisker”.
Bottler: Hunter Laing.
Region: Blend / Island.
Age: 23 Year. Distilled April 1997, Bottled Sept. 2020.
ABV: 59.0%. Cask Strength.
Cask Type: Refill Hogshead.
Color: 0.9, Amontillado Sherry.
Nose: A single note dominates for me in prickly pear. Very little else even peeps out, a bit of brine and smoke come in once and again, but the pear note is incredibly dominating for me.
Palate: You can feel the ABV, it definitely needs water. It is fairly mineraly, /u/_asipper
described it as being almost chalky which is a fair description. There’s a meaty note of really fatty pork, almost like the bits of char siu pork belly if it hasn’t soaked up enough of the marinade/sauce. It feels like the whisky is slapping itself against the tongue until you get enough water in it given how strong it is. Once it does calm down, the mineral and fatty pork notes are joined by grilled lemon and some charcoal grilled seafood notes, namely slightly burnt grilled shrimp in the shell. Margarita salt, in all of its lime and salty goodness, warps things up
Finish: Super long. The charcoal fire grilled seafood note that popped up near the end of the palate continues on here and gets more intense. Notes of grilled pacific saury, slightly charred shrimp, and some smoked fish come through. A fresh lemon note puts a nice bow on things when the finish does decide to close up shop.
Conclusion: It isn’t every day that you run across a blended malt such as this one – older Ledaig teaspooned with Talisker. The story goes that the Hunter Laing added an eyedropper’s worth of Talisker into a cask of Ledaig that they had to get this whisky classified as a blend and no longer subjected to American tariffs on Scotch. Regardless of how much truth there is to the story or how little Talisker actually ended up in this cask, it is a fantastic pick irregardless. The nose is a bit one track for me however the palate and finish are chock full of complexity and twists and turns. It starts hot and minerally before serving up some fatty pork and ending up at a summer beach-side seafood grill. I was remarking to /u/_asipper that it felt like a baby version of Signatory’s 30th Anniversary Port Ellen and that association keeps on ringing for me. At the original $120 price, I probably would’ve bought a case or more if I could.
Final Score: 92.
Scotch Whisky Review #427, Island Review #70, Blended Malt Review #15, Whisky Network Review #581
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
- 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
- 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
- 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
- 70-74: Alright, solid and wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
- 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
- Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.