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Kilchoman Machir Bay vs Ledaig 10: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Kilchoman Machir Bay vs Ledaig 10 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Kilchoman Machir Bay

kilchoman-machir-bay
NoseSmoke, ripe fruit, orange
PalateVanilla, lemon, apple, pepper
FinishLong, fruity, tobacco, oak spice
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toLagavulin 16, Laphroaig 10

The nose kicks off with a blast of smoke, but as you let it breathe ripe fruit and orange hints pop-up.

On the palate, Kilchoman has a medium body providing a decent mouthfeel. First sip feels smooth and mostly sweet, with vanilla hitting first, followed by lemon, apple and a bit of oak spice.

The finish is long, with a fruit note to it, light smoke, tobacco and more oak spice, but nothing severe.

Kilchoman (pronounced Kil-ho-man) is deceiving as it is strong in smoke in the nose making you think that this going to be a smoky-monster but smoke is quite restrained on the palate.

There is pleasing warmth in the taste and just a light smoky note in the aftertaste. This whisky achieves good balance between peat and sweetness making a good dram.

Machir Bay is a sweet, lightly peated and smooth Single Malt more approachable and lighter than other Islay whiskies such as Laphroaig, Ardbeg or Lagavulin.

Overall, the Kilchoman Machir Bay is a light whisky, with a subtle peat note and a decent spice kick making it an enjoyable dram.

Machir Bay is an easy sipper so drink it neat or with a bit of water if you want to make it sweeter.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Kilchoman Machir Bay:

  • Machir Bay is a blend of a whisky aged for 5 years in ex-bourbon barrels and one aged for 6 years in ex-Oloroso Sherry Barrels.
  • The Kilchoman Distillery is a novelty in the world of whisky as it was founded in 2005 by Anthony Wills and remains an independent and family run business.

Ledaig 10

ledaig-10
NoseSmoke, wax polish, pine oil, walnut
PalateSmoke, menthol, dried fruit, vanilla
FinishSalt, smoke, oak spice
Alcohol content92 proof (46% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, add water
Similar toLaphroaig 10, Talisker 10

Ledaig is not an Islay Whisky as it’s crafted in the Isle of Mull, yet tastes pretty much like one.

The nose is intriguing as it delivers smoke up-front, followed by a hint of wax polish and pine oil.

On the palate, Ledaig has a nice mouthfeel as it feels creamy. Flavor hits with smoke and a medicinal note rich in menthol at first, that mellows out into dried fruit and vanilla.

The finish has a medium to long length, with more of that medicinal note to it, along smoke, salt and a bit of oak spice.

It tastes better than what the previous description describes. Ledaig 10 has a fresh and quite rich taste but really easy to drink at the same time

I recommend pouring it in the glass and let it settle as more flavors will come out. Adding water releases caramel notes making it easier to drink.

Overall, the Ledaig 10 is a very interesting and good Scotch with a moderate amount of smoke comparable to the Talisker 10, deep and complex and nicely balanced that is going to sit well among Islay Scotch fans.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Ledaig 10:

  • Aged in ex-bourbon barrels.
  • Earned Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2013.
  • Earned a score of 90-95 points from Wine Enthusiast.
  • Tobermory Distillery is owned by Burn Stewart Distillers, a subsidiary of Distell Group Limited of South Africa.

Kilchoman vs Ledaig: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Kilchoman Machir Bay$65
Ledaig 10$76

Kilchoman Machir Bay vs Ledaig 10: Which is better?

Kilchoman is an easier sip

WhiskeyKilchomanLedaig
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Both whiskies are light on the smoke making good choices for those yet to get acquainted with this type of Scotch or prefer smoke on moderate amounts.
  • Ledaig has some medicinal notes making it harder to like. Not bad at all, but the high menthol note tastes as mouthwash at first making an acquired taste.
  • Kilchoman is a more approachable “plain vanilla” Scotch light on the smoke making a satisfying sip.

What do Kilchoman and Ledaig have in common?

These malts have two things in common worth mentioning:

  • These whiskies are NOT chill-filtered. Chill-filtering prevents the liquor from becoming hazy when in the bottle, when served, when chilled, or when water or ice is added, as well as precluding sedimentation from occurring in the bottles.
  • Many distillers and die-hard aficionados don’t like chill-filtering because according to them some molecules which contribute to the flavor and mouthfeel are also filtered out in the process.
  • Neither Ledaig, nor Kilchoman contain caramel-coloring to look more appealing. The United Kingdom’s Scotch Whisky Regulations allows this practice but some purists frown-upon the idea of adding artificial coloring to their drinks.

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