Maker: Edradour, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland, UK
Style: Peated single malt
Age: 12 y/o (distilled 10/26/05, bottled 7/17/18)
ABV: 57.5% (cask strength)
Notes: 100% burgundy cask aged. Natural color. Cask #316, 262 bottles produced. Exclusive to Vine & Table, Carmel, Indiana, USA.
Purchased for $135
Appearance: Reddish copper.
Nose: Alcohol, smoke, peat, baking cherry pie, leather.
Palate: Alcohol, smoke, cherry-vanilla custard, peat, old oak.
Finish: Big & smoky, with oak, fruit and burn.
Parting words: Edradour is in the Perthshire town of Pitlochry in the Central Highlands. It shares the town with the Diageo-owned Blair Athol distillery, known for its heavy, nutty malts. Edradour has a reputation of being mild (to put it kindly). I bought a bottle several years ago and I have never felt the desire to buy another one again.
I can’t resist the smooth talking salespeople of the Vine & Table whiskey section, though, so I bought this bottle (at least double what I normally pay for any spirit) after a very impressive taste at their tasting bar. Ballechin is a new, heavily peated malt from Edradour, presumably intended to buck their dull rep.
For me, man of the people and cheap skate, to buy something this expensive, it has to be good, of course, but it should also be unique. This is both. It’s not only a peated Highlander, it’s aged entirely in a former red Bungundy cask. This gives it some unusual fruit pie aromas that set it apart from other peated malts, in a good way. I’m not sure how many of these are left but I recommend saving your pennies or drinking out of your bunker for a couple of months for this one. You won’t be disappointed. Vine & Table’s Ballechin 12 y/o is highly recommended. Adding a splash of water is also recommended at this ABV.