Edradour Casks Chardonnay

Edradour: Straight From The Cask: Chardonnay Cask (Scotland: Highland Single Malt Whisky: 12 Year: 56.1% ABV)

Visual: Ripe banana hued gold.

Viscosity: Very slow thick puckering into streaks.

Nose: Key lime. Banana skin. Honey soaked barley. White grapes. Noticeable alcohol. Overripe fruit sweetness. Vinous. Becomes muted with water. Dry passion fruit, cheesecake and husked wheat.

Body: Ripe banana. Grapes. Sweet. Alcohol burn level is quite high. Sweet lime. Crumble topping. Honeycomb and treacle. Water makes golden syrup like with still present elements of grapes and banana.

Finish: Crumble toppings. Banoffee pie. Grapes. Dry at the end. Honey into treacle. Feels more alcohol like after water oddly. Alcohol then fades with a little more water. The flavour with water is white wine, lots of grapes and wheat fields.

Conclusion: Big is not a word I previously associated with Edradour, but this is big. It is partly the alcohol, with noticeable alcohol burn it would be hard not to comment on that element, but more than that it is the thick texture and strong banana and treacle flavours.

Even a decent amount of water finds it hard to dent it, it more has the effect of drying the flavours rather than lessening them. Water drying the flavours, yeah that still sounds odd. It is remarkably robust.  The wine cask influence only actually seems wine like with water though, dry and sparkling. Before you add the water it is very full, like rich fruity grapes.

The whisky is full of character and ripe with potential room to play, almost overripe and laden with opportunity.  It shows how you can bring this level of weight without going the Islay route, and without sacrificing the sweet and fruity character.  Now you need a bit of play with water to get it just right, and you need to be able to put up with the strength of alcohol to get anything out of it, but if you’re up for that is shows a good use of both unusual cask ageing and cask strength.

Well worth checking out.

Background: 2000 Vintage. Drunk at Brewdog Bristol. Yes I’m doing whisky reviews there now. It is like they are trying to steal all my money by stocking things I enjoy. Anyway, with one thing or another it has been a while since I did a whisky review. Good to be back in the saddle. Edradour is the distillery I only nearly visited. Certain mistakes in navigation resulted in us turning up after the last tour. Ahh well, we only hit another ten distilleries that week, so we didn’t suffer too much.  This, finished in Chardonnay barrels and at cask strength has been of interest to me for a while, but I wasn’t quite willing to grab a full bottle on a whim. A chance to try by the measure on the other hand…