Apr 2, 2017

Ballechin 10yo...

Ballechin 10yo (55.8%): As most of you would know Ballechin is the brand name Edradour Distillery uses when they bottle their heavily peated whiskies, exactly like the relationship between the Tobermory and Ledaig brands. The whisky on my desk today is from a single cask exclusively bottled by the distillery for K&L Wine Merchants. It spent its entire life in an ex-bourbon barrel.

Color: Yellow gold, Chardonnay.

Nose: Not so much like a punch in your face but solid and persistent peat. Diesel oil and grease... But not like being on a boat, most like working on your tractor in a farm if it makes any sense. Dry earth, hot coal, barbecued mushrooms. Lambic beer and grilled green asparagus. Very earthy, dry and warm... Root vegetables and malt. A few drops of water opens it up: Crystalized ginger, ginger beer and young but barrel aged rum.

Palate: Sweet and sour. A little hot at this abv. Hot oatmeal, Zante currants and sumac. Dried unsweetened sour cherries. Lambic/Geuze beer is still there. There is something beautiful about these sour notes lingering right at the back of your throat. Fresh cranberries and pomegranate molasses. Adding water definitely makes it easier to drink and also shifts the palate to a slightly sweeter and less sour side. Fresh apricots and white peaches. Mineral salt and lemon sorbet. Fruit flavored Hookah tobacco and a little bit perfume...

Finish: Long and sour. Sumac, pomegranate seeds, fresh cranberries and sour worms.

Overall: I very much liked this cask... That sweet and sour quality of the whisky is pretty unique and very engaging. And to be able to taste a whisky distilled from malts dried with highland peat and matured in inland and to compare it to the other usual suspects which use coastal peat and most of the time mature their whiskies in warehouses next to the sea is great. No wet sand, no ocean breeze, no sea salt; it is earthy, dry and smoky instead. By the way this whisky is on sale right now at K&L Wine Merchants and you can purchase it for $60... For my two cents it is a good deal... Especially peat lovers should check it out. Just saying. Many thanks to Florin for sharing a sample with me.

Price: $90