Google The two faces of Edradour

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

September 28, 2019





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
The two faces of Edradour
No, I don’t mean Andrew and Des. Let’s simply try a recent Edradour, which of course is unpeated, and this brand new 15yo Ballechin that’s just been/about to be released. Ballechin being Edradour’s heavily peated sibling make. Just don’t mispronounce it in front of Andrew Symington if you’re keen on avoiding a blow dart to the neck…



Edradour 10 yo 2008/2018 (55.4%, OB for Helgoland Travel Retail, cask #61, oloroso sherry butt, 510 bottles)
Colour: deep amber. a little closed at first nosing. But in time develops some nice notes of fruit loaf, ginger cake, wild mushrooms and bay leaf. Gets increasingly dense and earthy. A little black pepper and lots of sooty notes, beef stock, liquid seasonings such as Maggi, lightly salted liquorice and raspberry jam. Clean, lean and surprisingly disciplined. Some cola syrup and root beer - which I’m always happy to find in sherry cask whiskies. With water: some softer notes of various teas of the green and chamomile varieties. Pickled ginger, saffron, turmeric and green pepper. Mouth: a nice balance of sootiness, beefy notes, game meats, red chilli jam, hints of banana liqueur, mincemeat and wild strawberry. There’s some pretty strong and earthy black tea in there too along with a slightly modern oak shaving note. With water: works well with water! A nice cohesiveness and a big, warming spiciness. More ginger along with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and star anise. Finish: good length. Rather earthy and drying with notes of cocoa powder, hessian and spicy salami. Comments: Something of a curiosity. At times it feels a tad imbalanced but works very well with water and there’s no denying its many spicy thrills. A tough one to score. Perhaps a couple of more years would have knitted everything together just that wee bit extra? Anyway, still a lovely boisterous wee sherry monster of an Edradour.
SGP: 472 - 85 points.




Ballechin 15 yo 2003/2019 (55%, OB for The Whisky Exchange 20th Anniversary, cask #204, sherry butt, 482 bottles)
Not often you get to try Edradour and Ballechin both out of sherry like this. Should be fun… Colour: dark rosewood. Nose: I often find Ballechin extremely medical and that’s certainly the case here. Pure, crystalline peat smoke, dense medical embrocations, natural tar and heaps of cured game meats, sods of earth, smoked teas, old rope, smoky bacon and mentholated tobaccos. There’s some herbal, medicated toothpastes, smoked rosewater and a hint of burnt raisins. A rather deep, sharp and singular smokiness runs between everything. I find it very good. With water: develops a rather sooty and muddy side. Anthracite, putty, aniseed and vase water. Cracked black pepper, smoked sea salt and creosote. Mouth: liquid smoke, peat embers and hot tar. Super tarry whisky! TCP, frying pancetta, strong black coffee, bovril, smoked paprika, soy sauce, the saltiest Dutch liquorice, fermenting bean curds. Hot smoked meats. Madness! With water: superb with water! The smoke and the medicine make peace with each other. The meatiness feels more textural and fatty now. There’s a touch more sherry influence with water as well, notes of birch beer, cola syrups, red fruit jams and tobaccos. Finish: Long, syrupy and extremely peppery, earthy, smoky and meaty. Increasingly bitter herbal extract notes and hints of green walnut in the aftertaste. Comments: I love this whisky, but I’m struggling to tell how technically good I think it is. This is really one of these occasions where extreme flavours and personal opinion can really collide to obfuscate the process of objectivity. It’s a very polarising style that’s for sure, some will loathe this and some will jump through flaming tractor tyres for a second dram. You’ll all just have to take my score with a pinch of salt and taste it for yourselves. Perhaps Serge also has a sample he could record some notes for… 
SGP: 576 - 89 points.










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