Thursday, August 8, 2013

Edradour 10 Year Old

Whisky Type/Region: Single Malt Scotch Whisky/Highland

Bottle Size: 750ml

Alcohol by Volume: 43%

Notes: What can you say about Edradour that hasn't already been said in any other review? Compare it's limited production to the massive output of the bigger distilleries? Been done! Talk about how it's one of the smallest, yet most picturesque distilleries in Scotland? Well, based on that information and the many photos I've seen of this little farm distillery, that does put it at the top of my "distilleries to visit" list, but it's information that has been covered many times in almost every other review.  

I want to talk about something else. I've noticed that many independent bottler's are buying up some of the smaller, less well known distilleries, and I think this is a good thing! With the global demand for whisky going through the roof, it's getting harder and harder for independent bottler's to find available casks from other distilleries. Many of these smaller blending houses and indie bottler's are buying their own distilleries, to insure that they have something to trade, and something to fall back on as it gets harder and harder to buy casks from other distillers. The benefit to us, is these new owners are often increasing output, improving the quality of the casks and cask management, and are usually offering a wider range of product from these distilleries than the previous ownership did. They also tend to release their whisky at higher than the industry minimum of 40ABV, and without added coloring. 

Edradour is now owned by Signatory, a well known and respected independent bottler, and Edradour's production, while small, has become quite diverse. This review covers the standard 10 year old. This is the whisky that helped me to decide to focus my reviews on full bottles of whisky, not on small samples! I noticed over the course of several weeks, as I worked my way through the bottle, that my opinion of this whisky changed quite a bit. At first I was somewhat underwhelmed by this Single Malt. It seemed pretty one dimensional and had a slight dairy flavor I didn't particularly like. When I mentioned this to someone over at Whisky Connosr, one of the wise whisky veterans advised me to give it a couple of weeks. He said, that despite all of the concern over oxidation, in some cases a little oxidation is just what a whisky needs to open up, and he claimed Edradour was one of those. Taking his advice, I tried again, and he was right! The off putting dairy note had now become a mouth coating buttery flavor, and the complexity was better too. On my first impression, I would have given this whisky an 80 score at best. By the time the bottle was empty, I would have scored it much higher. My final score averages the overall experience. 

Nose: Apricots, vanilla, carmel, and a hint of peat. 

Taste: Almonds, some honey, lemon/lime citrus, spice, and that wonderful creamy butter.

Finish: Surprisingly long and sweet, with hints of spice and peat that linger. 

My Personal Ranking: 83/100

Special Note: Most of my reviews will cover standard bottle sizes 700-750ML. On occasion I have acquired smaller half size bottles (350ML) and and a beautiful boxed sampler set (each bottle 50ML) from Compass Box, that I plan to review. On those rare occasions, I will note the size of the bottle being reviewed. That being said, I will never write a review based on a sip at a tasting event, or from a travel sized (airline size) bottle!

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