Laphroaig 1998 // Glenburgie 1998 // Ledaig 2005 (The Whisky Exchange)

The Whisky Exchange just released three new single cask expressions, the second set under their own independent label.

Three casks selected by Sukhinder Singh: 21 year-old Glenburgie (a sister cask of the latest Black Friday bottling), 13 year-old Ledaig and a 21 year-old Laphroaig from a very active sherry cask.   



Glenburgie 1998 - The Whisky ExchangeGlenburgie 21 yo 1998
(55,4%, The Whisky Exchange 2019, bourbon hogshead #900888, 254 btl.)

Nose: a fruit salad with yellow apples, hints of mango and plenty of pineapple on syrup. Peaches and pears. Lemon peel. Just a light grassy touch and sunflower oil. Very natural, with a crystal-cut eau-de-vie character.

Mouth: slightly deeper and more tropical now, with a nice waxy side as well. Pineapple, pears and peaches. Hints of Calvados. There’s white pepper and ginger from the oak, as well as a certain metallic note.

Finish: a darker style of wood, with sour apples, pepper and wax.

The resemblance with TWE’s Black Friday deal is clear, but this is slightly more oaky and eau-de-vie-like in its fruitiness. A nice and fruity Speysider. Available from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 87/100




Ledaig 2005 sherry - Whisky ExchangeLedaig 13 yo 2005 (57,4%, The Whisky Exchange 2019, sherry butt #622, 622 btl.)

Nose: warm and sooty. Lots of tobacco notes, leather and brown sugar, mixed with gentle medicinal hints. Iodine, menthol, light tarry notes. Plums and milk chocolate sweetness in the background, as well as damp hay, walnuts and ash. Very wintery.

Mouth: quite a medicinal style again, with menthol and eucalyptus all along. Ashy peat, charcoal and liquorice. Caraway seeds. Deep sooty notes and sweet cigar smoke. A hint of berry sourness too.

Finish: very long, on tarry and mineral notes, blackberries and leather.

A very warming dram, with a nice mix of dark peaty notes and sherry sweetness. Nothing dirty, and showing a nice complexity. The pick of the bunch if you want value for money. Available from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 88/100



Then a Laphroaig 1998, matured in ex-bourbon until 2010 and re-racked into a sherry hogshead for a further nine years.


Laphroaig 1998 sherry - Whisky ExchangeLaphroaig 21 yo 1998 (54,4%, The Whisky Exchange 2019, Oloroso sherry cask #117, 322 btl.)

Nose: yes, such an old-style profile! It’s full of forest fruits: blackberries and blackcurrants. Plums and Corinthian raisins. All mixed with a classic Laphroaig style: deep soot and smoked earth, hints of bitumen, sea air and camphor. Lots of tobacco and leather notes. Glazed chestnuts and smoked ham.

Mouth: a very intense but very balanced mix of Islay peat and sherry. Soot, tar, leather, medicinal notes. Old rancio. There’s a great sweet-and-sour fruity side though, with rasberry ganache, cherry liqueur and blackberries aplenty. Blood oranges too. Lovely.

Finish: very long, elegantly becoming drier, on chocolate ganache, cherries, earthy and oaky notes.

Fireworks. Intense, with heavy sherry but nice fruity notes as well. You rarely come across this style. May I predict this will end up in my ‘Best of 2020’ list? Not cheap, but highly recommended. Available from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 92/100