There is a beauty in the single cask releases that asks for your attention and demands you open your mind in order to understand what is happening whilst the whisky sits patiently awaiting its release..

As we all know the wood does its magic over a period of time, allowing all those aromas and flavours to escape into the liquid within. The fact no 2 casks will ever be identical is something to shout about and just knowing that every time you open these casks there is no way of knowing what to expect is what fascinates me so much.

Just when you think you know a distillery profile, just when you think you know what to expect you delve into a selection of single casks and wow, your mind is blown as the flavours and aromas come at you from every angle and you just have to wonder where and how each cask has become very individual…

Firkin is about enjoyment, being self-effacing and poking good-natured fun at some of the more pretentious malt stuff out there. Life’s too short to be serious. Life is for seriously good whisky. So, relax, pour a dram, and explore what Firkin has to offer.


People often think its easy to bottle whisky and release it, sit back and await the money to roll in. Its not that simple..

Finding those casks that fit your profile and paying a fair price is the easy part, its the agonising job of paperwork, logistics and marketing that come first that are the breaking point of so many companies, once all that is in place then buying whisky is the fun part. Finding whisky that suits your needs is a consuming job though, the many hours of sampling stocks, sourcing wood and making the decision to maybe finish / second maturation (whichever road you want to ride ) all comes once the whisky is in place..

Todays review is from a whisky born in the Tobermory distillery ( Ledaig is the peated version from this distillery ) and filled into a “hybrid” cask that has been coopered from two casks, one American oak and one European oak. A number of staves are taken from two casks and married together to make one single cask, this is where Firkin get their “Double Wood single cask” title from..

In todays review this Double wood single cask has been seasoned with Marsala wine which is a sweet fortified wine from Sicily.

Picture courtesy of Firkin Co

Ledaig 2008 Marsala.

Distillery.. Tobermory

Region.. Islands

Distilled.. 2008

Abv.. 48.9%

Cask.. American oak / European Oak – hybrid single cask

Nose.. Gentle smoke rising from a BBQ dragging along those meaty notes that fill the air as you stand by, mouth watering and just allowing those inviting aromas to draw you in. A fleeting pineapple note is quickly followed by those ashy notes that come towards the end of a bonfire, apples gently stewing on the hob, vanilla pods freshly cut, Manuka honey that brings with it that typical earthy note and a little dried hay.

Palate.. Again this is about the smoke but its a story of two half’s.. First the smoke coats the mouth with the fruits being allowed to be noticed along with some sweetness from vanilla, a soft hint of dried fruits and again those pineapple rings that have had a second or two on the BBQ but then that smoke just rips the throat and sucks all the moisture out as you’d expect.

Finish.. Smoke

Thoughts.. This is very reminiscent of Ledaig with the smoke telling the story and just allowing a the other characters a few seconds to shine..

The Marsala is certainly not a main character within this whisky or maybe its just a little shy today but either way this is about the base spirit and character of the distillery.

Thanks go out to Ed from Firkin who very kindly sent along this sample for review purposes..

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