Edradour 2003 Port Cask Matured

Cue back to early 2017, when I had more free time to geek out online, but less money for bottles. This was before I had to be more “calculating” with my monthly purchases. Prior to the commencement of my rumpage later that year.

A friend was in Tokyo and asked me if I wanted anything from this location. I asked to see if any Edradour were available, as I had just discovered that they were owned by Signatory. To my surprise this bottle existed. Thinking back, I had such a sweet tooth back at that point and time. Naturally, I gravitated toward sweet fortified wine like port and PX sherry. Previously, I had never tried any whisky fully matured in ex-port casks before. Let alone any of this Edradour whisky from the Highlands of Scotland. So, without even checking for reviews online, I asked my friend to purchase a bottle. Until now, this is the only ex-port cask matured spirit I’ve tried.

I don’t really have a great deal to say about Edradour, as this is the only release of theirs I have tried to date. As a distillery, they aren’t talked about much by the whisky geeks in my circle. However, I love the fact that they are owned by Signatory. And I wish to visit their picturesque distillery, high in the glens above Pitlochry one day. But I’ve seen online that they have a lot of the ex-wine finished and matured releases. I’ve been more hesitant with risking purchases on whisky that has spent time in those kinds of cask. Most of the recent releases out there are in my opinion just too cask dominant.

Because the label is hard to read from, I’ll just write down summarized details starting with it being matured solely in port hogsheads. This is hogsheads batch #3 (2,250 bottles), which is made up of 25 freshly dumped port hogsheads with new make Edradour Spirit. The casks had previously been used for at least 8 years in maturing port in Portugal. This release was distilled during the months of June and July 2003, before being bottled in April 2015 at 11 years of age. Unsurprisingly, it displays a natural color, is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% strength.

Edradour 2003 Port Cask Matured – review

Color: dark Amber

On the nose: big bang of apple pie, strawberry jam, roses, honey, port (duh) and some maltiness. Nosing this was probably the best part of this whisky. The scents were elegantly layered that it made me imagine what an afternoon would be like walking around in the smaller towns of the U.K. a few centuries ago.

In the mouth: muddled up flavors of cinnamon, stewed apples, molasses, Demerara syrup, strawberry jam, hints of nectarines and peaches, honey, vanilla, port, hints of turpentine, a sneaky follow up of apple pie just before everything dies down. This wasn’t lacking in flavor but sipping this was sort of a disappointment due to the lack of cohesiveness in the layering of flavors. It’s like the notes were crudely layered.


Overall, this Edradour is a pretty interesting dram for a “random purchase” of about $70, back in early 2017.

This whisky was full of surprises. For one, I expected this to be darker, or pinker and sweeter due to the full 12 years of aging in ex-port casks. It ended up being more balanced. Flavors were on the sweet side, but not like a single PX cask bottling. The other surprise is that most of my relatives loved this whisky a lot. For exclusive JW Black drinkers, I thought the 46% would be a bit strong for them. But no, they drained the bottle quite easily. The mouth-feel felt more like a 43% which was disappointing… for me. I was hoping for a richer texture but at least my curiosity was sated.

Score: 5/10

CategoriesSingle Malt

John is a cocktail and spirits enthusiast born and raised in Manila. His interest started with single malts in 2012, before he moved into rum and mezcal in search of malterntaitves – and a passion for travel then helped build his drinks collection.

  1. PBMichiganWolverine says:

    I just recently tried Edradour’s Ballechin 12yr fully matured in port. Was never really a fan of Edradour, but that one blew me away. Sooty Peat with sweet port really did wonders, tempered by 12 yrs in cask. Aside from just adding peat, does Edradour do anything different with their Ballechin line? Wondering if better casks ?

    1. John says:

      No idea. I’m not too familiar with Edradour. Maybe the peat and port integration is just better? Maybe they use different yeast or ferment them longer.

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