...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Ballechin 10 year old 2010 Signatory, cask 195

I was feeling pretty burned out by full-power Ballechin when I wrote my last review of such creatures two-and-a-half years ago(!). But hey it's 2022! And if there's anything to be learned by this new year, it's that we can't run from......well, anything. So I will be reviewing FIVE single cask Ballechins this week.

First off, the baby of the bunch, a 10 year old first fill sherry butt. In what may be a first, this cask was split by seven different groups (see here and here). As you may see from the links, this whisky is nearly maroon in color, which is not my preferred whisky hue, but what the hell, engage.

Distillery: Edradour
Malt: Ballechin
Ownership: Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co., Ltd.
Bottler: Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co., Ltd. (hmmmm)
Region: Highlands (Central)
Age: 10 years (13 Aug 2010 - 15 Sep 2020)
Maturation: 1st fill sherry butt
Cask #: 195
Outturn: 675
Exclusive to: like, all of Benelux?
Alcohol by Volume: 58.9%
(from a bottle split)


Nose - More BBQ pork than BBQ pork (Tyrell's side hustle). Waves of dark chocolate, roasted almonds and roasted pecans. Elote! It shifts towards campfire and s'mores after 30 minutes. After being diluted to 46%abv, the whisky tilts more towards tri-tip. The roasted nuts and dark chocolate remain the same, but are joined by a big brininess.

Palate - Starts out very smoky and savory, with a just a little bit of sweet dried fruit. It gains very dark chocolate, pipe tobacco and Underberg with time. It gets outrageously smoky at 46%abv, with hazelnuts, burlap, incense and charred beef in the background.

Finish - Underberg, pork, pipe tobacco and bonfire smoke. At 46%abv, the finish matches the palate, though slightly bitterer.


The cask is pretty ridiculous here, but I love this stuff. Despite or Because? I don't know. It's loud, but much more interesting and enjoyable than Ardbeg's tinkerings. Also, we're getting a good snowin' today, and this whisky feels tailor-made for this sort of weather. I commend all the responsible parties for getting this bottled at ten years because it would have been nigh undrinkable at 12-15, though it would have been dark as coffee and sold for twice as much then. To small victories!

Availability - I think it's still around
Pricing - €85-€100
Rating - 89