One distillery I sometimes have heard talked down a bit during whisky discussions is Edradour. Why I have no clue. Probably because the people talking about it in a negative way don’t enjoy the whisky, and that’s alright I suppose. Everyone is entitles to theri own opinion, but what do I think? Since I’m not sure due to lack of formed opinion I intend to become wiser on the subject!
Edradour is a pittoresque little distillery in the whisky reagion Highland, which claims itself to be the smallest distillery in the whole of Scotland. Considering new destilleries are started more and more often these day this might not be true in a few years, but that is purely speculations on my part. In any case the people of Edradour like the number 25 , since the distillery was founded in 1825 and they’ve boast (according to the website) about having 25 different official bottlings. It’s also clear that they like traditions, and for example use the cooling system “worm tubs” with traditional copper spirals in water tanks to cool down the spirit. Here they make both peated and unpeated whisky, where the peated expressions are named Ballechin and the unpeated ones are named after the distillery. During the hubbies latest trip to Scotland he brought home with him a couple of mini bottles containing two of the distillery’s official expressions and after haveing stolen a sample from my parents’ whisky cabinet containing the Swedish Whisky Society’s Ballechin-bottling it is now time to get to know the distillery a bit better!
Edradour Caledonian 12 yo, 46 %
General facts: The mini bottle of twelve-year-old Edradour the hubbie bought for me which I now will devour is a special bottling connected to an artist by the name of Dougie MacLean who has performed with the song “Caledonia”, which also given the bottling its name. It is, according to the website, also a part of their “classic range” and is, according to Master of Malt, sherry matured in Oloroso casks. In the Swedish monopoly stores it has the number 86868 and costs about £55.
Nose: Clear sherry influences here (hello sherry bomb!) without any signs of spirity notes, but instead with sweet roundness and a lot of dried fruits. Raisins, cranberries, plums, brown sugar, cinnamon, a big dollop of Nutella and vanilla. This is easily a nose I could sit and smell for hours! Here is also something “dusty”, in lack of a better word for it, almost like sawdust but more polished wood instead of new wood. A whole lot of honey and malty sweetness together with chocolate (think “chocolate biscuits”) and also some sort of fresh fruitiness. Is it cherries? Or blackberries, perhaps? After having warmed the glass by hand the nose becomes less sweet and a bit “plastic”, but neither better nor worse really. With water the chocolate biscuits and the fruitiness develops into orange flavoured chocolate instead. .
Taste: Fresh and rich, kind of like sour berries cooked with lemon or lime and served with a whole lot of creamy vanilla ice-cream. The spiciness from the nose has moved on to pure allspice and vinous notes from the sherry casks are definitely present. I also sense dark winegums (you know, the black ones), candy-floss and some bitter oakiness. With water the vanilla becomes even more dominant (believe it or not) and reminds me more of pure vanilla extract, but the whisky itself also turns less sweet with a dryer spiciness and the orange flavoured chocolate from the nose emerges. IN addition I also pick up on a surprising tobacco-like taste note, kind of like pipe tobacco or cigars but without the smoke. Some walnuts a present too.
Finish: The aftertaste is average-lengthed, dry, almost a bit austere in a sense, and a bit bitter. Most noticeable are cocoa, cherry kernels and an unidentified spiciness together with a faint sherry flavour that hangs around for a while. With water the tobacco note from the taste stays on the tongue, together with some chilli peppers.
Okey, this I liked. This was, according to my palate, a really nice sherried everyday whisky and if I find this for a bargain in for example in the UK this spring I will most def buy a bottle or two. Who am I kidding, If I don’t I’ll probably buy a bottle here in Sweden anyway, since I would mind having this in my whisky cabinet at home. Sure, it doesn’t have the same syrupy sherry sweetness as for example Glendronach 15 Revival but since that one is at the moment basicly impossible to get a hold of and because of that perhaps not a bottle you crack open a dreary Tuesday evening, Edradour Caledonia 12 yo is absolutely a worthy alternative.