The Ultimate Whisky Company r/Scotch Pick Ballechin 11 Year Sherry Cask (2009)

Scotch Whisky Review #308: The Ultimate Whisky Company r/Scotch Pick Ballechin 11 Year Sherry Cask (2009)

Distillery: Edradour

Region: Highland

Age: 11 Year. Distilled 7th of August 2009 and bottled 30th of September 2020.

ABV: 58.30% Cask Strength

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/bradbobaggins.

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany.

Nose: While it is fairly smoky, it’s not the super rolling smoke that you get in some Islays. It’s a touch more subtle, still recognizably smokey but it’s not leaping out your glass to slap your nose around. There’s a bit of sweetness to it, with a bit of mesquite, as well as a salt brine element as well. The combination reminds me of a whitefish dip I had once. A bit of light cigar smoke comes in and out.

Palate: Similar to the nose, there’s a subtle smoke that comes through. Some more of the mesquite is there. I get a very earthy, coffee like smell…but it’s as if the coffee has been smoked slightly. Some grilled fruit comes in along with a bit of charcoal. It feels like it’s a bit closed off though and I never quite got it going. Adding water made it easier to down but the flavors remained rather tight and almost unwelcoming. After a lot of water, a bit of chocolate does peel off but it’s just a trace.

Finish: Medium in length. The first notes of sherry pop up here and are joined by grilled pineapples. Something that tastes an awful like tonkatsu sauce lingers as well.

Conclusion: Ballechin, and Edradour in general, is one that I’ve not paid a ton of attention to for some reason or another. This /r/scotch pick is quite nice. The nose is flavorful with a lot of depth to the smoke beyond “rawr, smoke”. The finish is lovely with a bit of sherry, grilled pineapple, and some tonkatsu sauce. The palate though does leave a little bit to be desired. While it is tasty, it feels like the flavors are all closed up and unwilling to open. Both water or resting time didn’t seem to have much of an impact, though I’m sure there is some combination that does make this all sing. If I had a bottle of it, I’d definitely tinker around with it to see if I could get things to open up. As it stands, this is quite nice but it feels like it should have been something a lot more than it was.

Final Score: 81

Scotch Whisky Review #308, Highland Review #57, Whisky Network Review #450

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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