...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Edradour 2006 Barolo Casks, batch 2

Both Florin and Vik gave me samples for batch 2 of the Edradour 2006 Barolo Casks. This is only the second time I've received two samples of the same whisky. (The first time was back when Jim McEwan and Bill Lumsden hand-delivered Black Bowmore samples. Ah those were the days.)

I've been wondering if there's a reason I received two samples of this Edradour; not like a cosmological reason, but a quality reason? For better or worse? To note, this is not a wine cask finish but a full maturation. So let's see when happens when Scottish and Piedmontese juices commingle.

Distillery: Edradour
Ownership: Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co., Ltd.
Region: Highlands (Central)
Age: 8 years old (March/April 2006 - July 2014)
Maturation: Barolo Hogsheads
Outturn: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant added? No
(thanks to both Florin and Vik!)

The nose begins with yeast, grape bubblegum and apricots. Then things progressively get more candied: anise, toffee, maple syrup and a lychee cocktail. My palate notes begin with "Very curious." The whisky feels fizzy, though not as sweet as expected. It's a little farmy. Some ginger ale and yeast. Tangy and tannic, though it's a "red wine" tannic, not generic oak tannic. The grapes' polyphenols, not the tree's. The flavors shift, almost entirely, toward a dry red wine after a 20-30 minutes. It finishes tangy and yeasty, along with notes of dry red wine, ground black pepper, mesquite smoke and wet paper.

DILUTED TO ~40%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Milk chocolate, toffee and cinnamon on the nose, as well as coconut rum and lime zest. Now the palate has picked up a woody bitterness, and the tannins feel much woodier. It's very sharp and peppery. The finish is similar to the palate, with some extra sugar and pencil shavings.

I appreciate that Edradour went with a dry wine. The whisky is neither sugary, nor overly grape-y. The palate could have really used the nose's vibrancy and some of its fruit. As it is the palate doesn't do much for me when neat and then goes the wrong direction once diluted. While this is no Murray McDavid-sized disaster, it falls short of the regular official Edradour 10 year old and the Signatory sherry casks.

But someone over there like his Barolo casks. There have been five of these batches and thirty-seven different Barolo cask releases by Edradour/Signatory.. I like Edradour a lot, but am I missing something here? Please share your own Edradour Barolo cask experiences if you've had 'em.

Availability - Probably scarce on both the primary markets (all batches)
Pricing - probably $50-$70
Rating - 78