Edradour Super Tuscan 8 years old 2006 – Batch#1 ~46% (Edradour Distillery)
46% ABV, £44.95 for 70cl available from Royal Mile Whiskies
What they say:
There have been a few noticeable bottlings of whisky matured in Super Tuscan wine casks as of late. Edradour have released this heavy bodied dram using their vast experience of wine cask maturation to bring something different to the trend.
Nose: Dusty on the nose. There is woody, leathery notes and with an almost medicinal note coming through.
Palate: Woody notes and deep red fruit. It has an oily character with a briny and salty undertone.
What I say:
Another Wine-cask matured Edradour, this time using Super Tuscan barriques. The Super Tuscan region originated in the 1970’s when the Domaine Origine Contollee (D.O.C.) for the Chianti region in Tuscany restricted Chianti production to specific grape varietals. Perhaps as an aftermath of phyloxera or just experimentation by viticulturists a lot of the region had adopted classic French grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot onto their vineyards and subsequent use of these grapes ruled them out of the Chianti D.O.C. Thus they dropped the age-old name and struck out to produce the new Super Tuscan wines, in time earning recognition and now becoming household names with wines such as Sassicaia. Andrew Symington the owner of Edradour certainly knows his wines and will likely have hand-selected the very best casks on offer to impart some of this Super Tuscan character to the Highland malt hand-crafted at Edradour.
Musty, dunnage warehouse and old hay barns, fruity with red berries and sweet honey, a little tannic like a polished leather handbag
Musty oak wood and damp wine cellars, jammy red berry fruits, strawberry, tart plums, cherry and elderberry, more oak wood and a pinch of salt and malt (marmite)
Long, oaky wood and jammy fruits, the malty coastal nature recurs
Would I buy it again:
Absolutely, this is a cracking example of marrying wine and whisky. The activity of the casks masks the youthfulness of the spirit and also imparts an almost Campbeltown-like quality with lashings of malt and a slightly briny/coastal effect on the palate. These latest offerings from Edradour distillery represent a move away from the Straight from the Cask series which have been excellent over the last few years. Dilution down to 46% however has been uncompromised by refusing to chill-filter and so the whisky retains all that lovely wine-y goodness from the cask. To be honest the SFTC series revealed their best when diluted at least a little, I would be interested in trying more from this 46% series to make a better cross-comparison between finishes.