For the past two years, on the way up to the Spirit of Speyside Festival, myself and the Whisky Rover have stopped off at Edradour distillery, which is located near Pitlochry in Perthshire. We do this not just because it’s a nice stop-off point, but primarily to raid the excellent distillery shop. Why? Because the Signatory bottling, bonding and office facilities are based at the distillery too, and that means it has the best range of whiskies from one of the best-value bottlers you can find.
If you’re in the region, even vaguely, it’s worth heading to Edradour distillery. A pretty place – quite a romantic little Scotch distillery (though no longer the smallest in Scotland), with well-tended grounds, and white-washed walls and fences. The distillery shop is a sight to behold. There are many whiskies to choose from in Signatory’s Un-chill Filtered Collection, the Cask Strength Collection and the Single Grain Collection, as well as there being a stack of Edradour bottlings too.
Whilst the Whisky Rover was busy throwing his money at a bottle of Glen Mhor to boost his collection of that closed distillery, I was spoilt for choice. However, conscious of not spending too much cash (the festival was going to be where most of my money was to be spent), I opted for a cheeky little Signatory Edradour 10 Years Old. It was a single cask from a sherry butt, and I was looking to build up some stocks of sherry matured whiskies, but it was also about £40 or thereabouts. I’d had some good luck with a previous Edradour (a cask strength sherry butt release), and I’d also reviewed something for Edradour (it was a wine cask) in Whisky Magazine, and really enjoyed it. So I thought it was worth a punt.
Edradour 10 Years Old (Single Cask 2017) Tasting Notes
Colour: tawny. A lot of wood influence in 10 years.
On the nose: Molasses at first. Maple syrup. Black forest gateaux. Then dark fruits: blackberries and blackcurrants, with a little redcurrant too. Hints of ground coffee and dark chocolate. Just a little woodiness. I mean, it’s not especially balanced – this is one-sided, but the aromas are gorgeous.
In the mouth: viscous and plump, with dark hedgerow fruits in jam. In places the fruits are muted: not as outrageous as the nose might have promised. Blackberries and cherries once again, then more traditional dried fruits: at the figs and dates end of the spectrum though. There’s just a touch of bitterness, slightly tannic. Cinnamon and black pepper. As with the nose, it isn’t massively layered and complex, but it’s just wonderfully expressed. The flavours are delightful.
Ridiculously good value. Is it me or is Edradour, particularly its sherried whiskies, a bit of a modern gem? A decade ago its name was not so good, but I think they’ve really transformed into makers of fantastic – and fantastic value – whisky. I suspect I’m going to be buying a few more bottles of Edradour over the next year or two.