The Macnab may not ring a bell. In fact I believe this was the only bottling with this name and label. It was released in April 1988 from a private cask.
While not mentioned on the front label, a small back label explains it is Ledaig single malt from 1972. Remember this is the year Tobermory distillery re-opened after a 40+ year break.
Ledaig 15 yo 1972 (43%, The Macnab 1988)
Nose: a fairly light but nicely medicinal profile, mixing iodine and a gentle seabreeze with some paraffin, honey, dusty apple and candied ginger in the background. Wet stones and hints of rubber, as well as some charcoal, very subtle ashy smoke and old cardboard. Then back to dried grass and some resinous notes.
Mouth: a bigger impacted than expected. It has a really coastal profile with dried seaweed, some briney notes and plenty of resinous notes. Straw, hints of tea and lemon peels. A lightly berry sweetness underneath. Also dried ginger and fresh walnuts. The peat smoke is discreet but it gains more space towards the end, reminding me of late 1970s Brora in a way.
Finish: not very long, but the elegant smoky notes, liquorice and subtle saline edge work beautifully together.
Ledaig 1972 has a big fame of course, and it’s easy to see why. Even this modest bottling at merely 15 years of age is already impressive. Not the most intense bottling but complex and entertaining. Just beautiful. I’m not 100% sure but I believe Johan Hofvander gave me this sample in the Villa Konthor cellar with Carsten, in 2016. Thanks, you guys are the best.