Forty three years ago, a group of whisky enthusiasts cracked open a spirit still, one that had remain untouched by human hands for 41 years after the distillery it was in had ceased to function due to the Great Depression and the decade of Prohibition in the USA. The liquid that spilled out is now the Ledaig 42 Year Old, which we had the pleasure of sampling a few weeks ago.

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Now, one of the great myths of whiskies is that the more the number of years on the bottle, the better it’s supposed to be. That is absolute bollocks. As Tobermory’s master distiller Ian MacMillan espoused during the tasting, whiskies are a personal thing – one man’s desired smokiness might be another man’s peaty poison. The Ledaig 42 Year Old though, in this writer’s opinion, might be one of those rare whiskies that everyone, from beginning enthusiasts to grizzled veterans, will be able to enjoy. It’s extremely smooth and surprisingly smoky; the peaty levels in whiskies tend to dissipate after 25 years, replaced with the flavour of the cask that the whisky inhabited. I certainly enjoyed mine. I enjoyed it so much that the writer next to me offered me his own serving of the 42 Year Old because he wasn’t feeling too well.
There were lots of dark chocolate and coffee tones with a hint of spiciness that brings about visions of basement bars with not an empty stool in sight. On the stage, a sultry lady in a red dress huskily serenades you with the jazz hits of yesteryear. It was lovely.

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Only 200 bottles were produced, with 20 brought to Singapore to be sold. Last we checked, half of them had already been purchased, so if you want to own a piece of lovely history, you’d best hurry. History doesn’t come cheap though. The Ledaig 42 Year Old retails at $7,000 and can be bought at Quaich Bar at 390A Havelock Road. |

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