So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Ardbeg 26 yo 1974 Douglas Laing OMC vs Ledaig 22 yo 1972 Lost Bottlings

So its been peat peat peat recently, why not continue?  Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin are often compared to each other as the holy triumvirate in their peaty domain. Less appreciated though often as good are the other heavily peated alternatives like Ledaig and Longrow, even 90s Bowmore can be quite peat-forward. You might even like the upstart Port Charlotte. We won’t even visit Octomore. But the point is, it doesn’t have to be Islay and it isn’t all about the Kildalton.

Now If you know anything about Ardbeg and Tobermory, you’ll know why these 2 and what I’m onto here.

Ardbeg 26yo 1974/2001 Douglas Laing OMC 50% 252 bttls

Ardbeg 74 252

Nose  Nose: So clean and ultra sharp, and that celebrated deep peatiness. Wrinkled old lemons even, cut with cold steel dressed with seaweed, seasoned with the best seasalt and garnished with chopped tarragon maybe? Oregano? Or some green herb with heavy musty dry aromatics. Accompany that with some fresh shellfish plus a dip of muddy seawater. Finesse! Simple, straight to the point, but how it arrives!

Taste  Palate: Arrives with a sledgehammer made of rock (salt). Sloshed with brine. Manages to have both musty sour herbs and citric sharp lemons at the same time. More seaweed. More muddy silt. Rooty peat and green malt. So ‘present’ despite the time it spent in glass.

Finish  Finish: Rather long, acidic and sour. Lets rub that with some salt?


Not the most complex Ardbeg ok in fact rather straightforward, but full points for sheer directness and beautiful delivery of all these loved Ardbeg traits.



Ledaig 22yo 1972 Master of Malt Lost Bottlings Series 45.7%

Ledaif 22 1972 MOM

Nose  Nose: Wow. That’s quite a bit of preserved sugared orange peel here. And nuts. And.. Is this sherried? I cannot tell, but sweet berries abound. Not immediately peaty but the smoke does build. No the peat is there but it is a deep-but-subtle earthy, farmy peat. Wet cedar wood. Cow pats and other ‘ripe’ notes. Metal polish, old beeswax and a working tool shed. Merest touch of salt but by no means maritime. What it is is round rich and fantastic. And it goes on. After a while scented paper and candle drippings.

Taste  Palate: Surprise! Big peat here. Big with peppery white heat but quickly giving way to cartons of sweet smoked berry juice blended with some very old school sherry elements – old scraped silverware, resinous wood, thick burnt jam from the bottom of the pot, even some chinese medicine I daresay. Peat recedes but does not go away. And the smoke stays. Downright impressive.

Finish  Finish: Long bittersweet, always a touch of metal about this one but it’s great, trust me. Still somewhat smoky. Something meaty about this whole whisky. Hooray complexity.


I simply regret not buying 2 whole bottles of this when it was out. Much regret.

Ok, so. A mile ahead of the Ardbeg but in a completely different direction, its sharp delivery vs a multifacted richness. Maybe this pairing wasn’t a good idea then. Was Tobermory even using island peat at that time?

3 comments on “Ardbeg 26 yo 1974 Douglas Laing OMC vs Ledaig 22 yo 1972 Lost Bottlings

  1. Carissa Hickling
    December 27, 2015

    Wow! You have been sampling some serious special stuff lately! 🙂

    • Whiskyrific
      December 30, 2015

      Yes! A friend challenged me to do them head to head to learn more about each.. and I have loads to sample anyway.

      • Carissa Hickling
        December 30, 2015

        Fabulous suggestion and even more fabulous you could do this! 🙂

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This entry was posted on December 22, 2015 by in Ardbeg, Ledaig and tagged , .
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