I’ve had this bottle of Edradour whisky for about four months and have been too busy drinking it instead of actually reviewing it, so I thought it was about time I actually typed up my notes. The simple reason that it’s taken some time is this: I’ve just really enjoyed it.
I actually visited Edradour, in Pitlochry, a couple of months ago with Whisky Rover, on our way up to the Speyside festival. Our aim was primarily to investigate the shop, as Edradour is owned by Signatory, the magnificent independent bottler, and consequently its shop is chock-full of their great value single cask whiskies.
Originally founded in 1825, Edradour is billed as the ‘smallest distillery in Scotland’ and produces 95,000 litres of spirit a year. In the age where new distilleries seem to be spreading across the country like a major outbreak of some fungal disease, I’m not sure if it can really hold that title any longer. But it’s a lovely little site nonetheless, and well worth stopping off – if only to raid the shop.
Well over a decade ago, Edradour had a bit of a reputation for releasing a few bottles of dubious quality. These days, it’s hard to say what the distillery style is in many ways, as there are so many different cask maturations and finishes to its range. Not a bad thing, in my eye, but I think under the ownership of Signatory it’s whiskies are generally better. But for some reason, perhaps because of its size, you don’t seem to find all that many genuine evangelists for its products.
So it was real surprise to stumble across this one, Edradour ‘Straight From The Cask’ – Sherry #443. It’s a 10 year old whisky matured for 10 years in a Sherry butt. It was bottled in June 2015, with an outturn of 980 bottles, at 55.9% ABV. A 50cl bottle cost just over £50.
Edradour Straight From The Cask – Sherry #443 Tasting Notes
Colour: very dark. Henna.
On the nose: exceptionally fresh and floral, with sickly sweet roses. That first wave falls to dark fruits, figs, raisins, prunes; praline chocolates, hazelnuts. Then some sherry notes, perhaps even a touch of port or Madeira wine. Muscavado sugar. Treacle sponge. Then a little bit of fresh laundry, or even pencil erasers. I’ve nosed a good number of sherry bombs of late, but this is nicely different.
In the mouth: quite a viscous, chewy texture. Raisins, figs, port, blackberries, mincemeat (rather mince pie filling). That praline note continues here too. Tiramisu. And the sugars: lashings of dark sugar. The balance with the tannic, peppery heat from the wood and the dark, Molasses-like sweetness is intense and divine. Dark chocolate (85%). Damson jam. Cinnamon. Maple syrup. A long, well-balanced finish.
It’s a brilliant whisky of this style, and for £50 or so it’s been one of my best buys in recent years. Anyone who likes heavily sherried whiskies should absolutely track down a bottle.