Limited edition, albeit into its 5th release. This comes from cask 382. One of 1133 bottles at 46%. No age statement.
Much is made by some producers of the traditional nature of maturing whisky in sherry barrels. A good few hundred years ago, gentlemen in this part of the world consumed sherry in large amounts and therefore the surplus barrels often came to be used for storing whisky. In those days, ‘whisky’ was a clear product like illicit poitín or a new make spirit. That this spirit took on flavours from the cask it was stored in if given a little time was the landmark discovery that brought us to the whisky we now know and love.
Bourbon casks, we’re occasionally reminded, are relative newcomers to the maturation of malt, turning up about a hundred or so years ago. But while some may wax lyrical about a ‘belle epoque’ of sherry-matured whisky, they speak less of the other casks often used in this time, which were often whatever barrels were going spare at the docks. Casks previously containing wines, ale, brandy, port and even fish are known to have been used.
Thankfully, this isn’t a review of fish cask whisky!
Port isn’t consumed in anything like the same quantities it used to be and the number of chaps suffering from gout has significantly decreased from that of yesteryear – These two facts may be related! A variety of cask-finished whiskies can be found, with port amongst them, but whisky wholly matured in a port cask is much harder to find. Fortunately, the boffins at Edradour distillery aren’t afraid of trying many different varieties of cask, as their extensive range demonstrates. Here goes then, for an arguably old-fashioned and traditional type of maturation!
Cranberry, redcurrant, brambles still on the hedge. Butter tablet.
How’s this for a wonderful childhood memory – Ribena syrup! Crushed brambles, slightly under-ripe strawberries and a buttery flapjack mixture, before it has set.
Creme fraiche/sour cream, walnut oil and a little hazelnut.
Aussie wheeled out the concept of a dessert whisky recently while tasting 30 year old Glenfiddich. For me, this is even more worthy of the title. It kicks off very sweet – almost alarmingly smooth, becoming ever so slightly dry in the finish (perhaps even tart, like a good goat’s cheese) and is overwhelmingly reminiscent of traditional cranachan. Finally, the colour is incredible – Like a Portugese Rosé!
I’ve rarely ever had a whisky so fruity. Very different and a real treat. Edradour have proven to be quite a wee find. I’ve been extremely impressed by most that I’ve tried in the past year – Although the peated ‘Ballechin’ left me cold. Bottles have been well received by all of the lads whenever I’ve brought them out. Aussie now worships their bourbon decanter and Spanners actually paid me in order to take the dregs of my sherry decanter a few months ago!
Since it’s less than two hours drive away, there may be another trip to the distillery on the cards in the near future – Probably with a few passengers in tow. I shall certainly be getting another bottle or two of the port cask. As for the others, well, I have my suspicions…