Day ten is here, and opening the calendar door brings us a whisky from what for a long time was dubbed the smallest distillery in Scotland: the Edradour 10-Year-Old.
I have talked about it before, but Edradour as a distillery and brand does an amazing job of taking people that have gone to the distillery for a tour and turning them into brand ambassadors by the end of their visit. After I visited Edradour for the first time in October, I was able to see how this happens.
Edradour distillery is located in Perthshire, and is one of the more picturesque distilleries around – not just because of the buildings and their history and the whisky they make, but also due to the landscape it all resides on. The Edradour Burn is a stream/river that flows through the distillery property, which itself resides on a gently sloping hill. This view is especially impressive in the morning, with the fog not yet having dissipated entirely.
When you take in the entire scene, it is incredibly picturesque, on par for me view-wise with visiting Maker’s Mark Distillery in Kentucky. One big difference between the two though, is that Maker’s Mark goes through pains to show you how authentic and quaint and different from the rest it is. This is nice, but it is kind of like a person bragging about how humble they are. It is fun if they get the irony of it all and are intentionally saying it as a joke, but not if they are being earnest to the point of hypocrisy.
Edradour doesn’t seem to brag or boast much. It just is what it is: a small distillery (well, technically two distilleries now I suppose..) owned by Signatory, which itself a small(ish) independent bottler. Both located in the beautiful scenery of Perthshire in the Highlands. That is what makes nearly every visiter become an ambassador for the brand.
This specific bottle from Edradour that we will be tasting has special significance to me. Fifteen or so years ago, my Grandmother went on a trip to England. Since she knew I enjoyed Scotch, she bought this same mini bottle of the same Edradour 10 Year Old back to Calgary for me. I enjoyed the look of the mini bottle and its quaint little tube.
My Grandmother passed away about four years ago. She was old and her health was slowly failing, but the end was still rather abrupt. The look of the Edradour 10-year-old hasn’t changed much in the 15 years since she gave me that mini bottle, in full-size or small scale form. Seeing the mini again after a decade and a half brings back a lot of good memories of her and how good she was to myself and her other grand-kids.
Give me a moment to dry my eyes, take a deep breath, and compose myself…
While I have a lot of fond memories of my Grandma, I honestly don’t recall the taste of the whisky in that mini at all. It has also been quite a while since I revisited the Edradour 10 Year Old in general. Shall we dive in and discover it together?
Even with the boom in craft distilleries, Edradour is still amongst the smallest in Scotland. Located in Perthshire in the Southern Highlands, the Edradour is described as a traditional farm distillery on its website. The Edradour 10-Year-Old is just that – a 10-year-old unpeated Edradour bottled at 40% ABV.
Evan’s Tasting Note
Nose: Interesting. Quite a bit of sherry cask influence it seems. Dried fruits, a dash of spice, rum raisin pie, hot cross buns, and a touch of anise liqueur (Ouzo or Pernod? You make the call).
Palate: I would love to see this same bottled at 46%, but for now, I am happy to take what I can get. Hot chocolate, cinnamon buns with raisins, caramelized brown sugar, peaches and cream, and the touch of anise again.
Finish: Rich and full, but not over the top on the finish. Warming for sure, and pleasant. Nutty with some black licorice and fruit on the fade.
Comment: I would love to see this same bottled at 46%, but this is a very approachable introduction to the distillery. Fairly rich and mouth-filling considering it is bottled at the bare-minimum 40% ABV. Not too surprising though – Edradour might not be the first name that comes to mind when it comes to big, sherried whisky but they are certainly capable of it.
So, there we have it for today’s whisky! Is that the last we will see of that distillery in this year’s KWM Whisky Calendar? What will tomorrow bring us? Stay tuned to find out!
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