Edradour are another Highland distillery making their first appearance here on Pete Drinks. It’s Scotland’s smallest distillery, producing just 12 casks a week. Everything is matured for at least 10 years, and then often finished in a bewildering array of wood.
A quick search reveals bottles finished in Chardonnay, Moscatel, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Sauternes, Port, Madeira… the list seems endless.
This particular offering looks to be 11 years old (based on some furious googling on the finish and 57.2% ABV – there’s no actual age statement on the bottle), finished in Chateauneuf-du-Pape barrels and bottled at cask strength.
Being cask strength, the most dominant aspect of the nose is the alcohol. Underneath that is marzipan, green wood and a distinctly vinous quality from the Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Water cuts back the alcohol somewhat, and brings those fruity wine notes much more to the fore.
It’s very different in the mouth; rich, berry-like fruit up front and the alcohol warming but not overwhelming. Almost after you’ve swallowed, a slightly smoky spiced note, almost sour, starts to grow and grow, packing an impressive punch in the finish.
Adding water mellows it out; the fruit becomes lighter, sweeter – strawberries, perhaps – and that spice-heavy tail is reduced in intensity although, if anything, lingers more. That sour edge has vanished and it manages to become more approachable without losing it’s innate complexity.
The Chateauneuf-du-Pape finish has clearly played a significant role, and makes me very curious to explore their other finishes.