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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Single Malt Report: Edradour 9 year old 2003 Ruby Port Cask, batch 2

As mentioned on Monday, my Edradour experience is minimal.  I have had four unpeated Edradours made by the current ownership, two whiskies that were decent and two that were not.  The better ones were from emphatic sherry casks, the lesser ones were from shy bourbon casks.  Let's see where this one fits...

Distillery: Edradour
Ownership: Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co., Ltd.
Region: Highlands (Central)
Age: minimum 9 years old
Bottling year: 2013
Maturation: Ruby Port Hogsheads
Limited Bottling: 3100
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant added? No
(Thanks to Tetris who donated this MoM sample!)

The color is a rosy dark gold.  There is A LOT of sulphur in the nose, the most I've ever experienced from port cask maturation.  Just a wall of struck matches for the first ten minutes.  Behind the wall awaits some grapey port.  Eventually all of the other notes sneak through one by one.  Hay, marzipan, chocolate, and strawberry candy.  Smaller notes of agave nectar, violets, and honey.  The palate is sulphur free at first.  The port feels dry rather than sweet.  Almonds, salt, pepper, oats, and black raisins.  About 20 minutes in, things go a little weird with a sulphur & soap note.  But that vanishes 5 minutes later.  Then the raisins come back in with a salty pepper sauce and bitter chocolate.  A hot ethyl note runs throughout.  The finish has no weird notes.  Raisins, dry red wine, apple juice, the pepper sauce thing, and bitter coffee.

I didn't add water to this whisky because I became fascinated tracking the way it changed in the glass.  Thank goodness the sulphur faded out of the nose because there were good things trapped behind it.  The palate was free of sweets, but it was a bit bland (aside from its gross hiccup midway through).  The finish was the least flawed element.  While it's far from the worst Edradour I've had and is totally drinkable, it is crap compared to yesterday's Ballechin (peated Edradour) that was also aged in Port hogsheads.

Though there aren't many other online reviews of this whisky, I seem to be the only one who was hit by the sulphur note.  That's sort of weird because it's so freaking huge.  Sulphur aside, I'm still not crazy about this one by any means.  I'm not sure why it was bottled at this age, other than to satisfy a need for revenue.  Batch 1 has much lower ratings than Batch 2 in whiskybase, so I won't be too disappointed if I never try that one.  If you've tried either of these batches, let me know in the comments below.  I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.  I'm still not really sold on unpeated Edradour, though their ownership continues to be one of the industry's most reliable bottlers of other distilleries' malts.

Availability - Some specialty retailers in Europe
Pricing - €50-€60 (with VAT)
Rating - 77