Whisky Review: Ballechin 10 Years Old Heavily Peated 1st Release

Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Edradour Distillery

Bottling: Signatory; Ballechin – Heavily Peated range

ABV: 46%

Cost: £41.95 from Edradour Distillery Online Shop

ballechin-10-years-old-heavily-peated

What they say:

Ballechin is the heavily peated distillation we have been making at Edradour Distillery since 2003.

Distilled using barley which has been infused with peat to a level not less than 50ppm.

This bottling is predominantly from ex Bourbon casks with a generous top dressing of ex Oloroso Sherry casks, to create added depth and greater complexity. It has been bottled at 46%, without chillfiltration, to retain the true cask character.

The name Ballechin originates from a fellow Perthshire farm distillery, which sadly closed its doors in 1927. There, Alfred Barnard, who catalogued all the distilleries in the UK in the 1880’s, made reference to having experienced a peated whisky.

Nose:

Herbal and grassy with sweetened smoke

Palate:

Chocolate oak over spicy, earthy smokiness. Complexity rolls over the tongue.

Finish:

Smouldering burnt heather on Highland hills

What I say:

Dramvent Calender Day 5

This December I am attempting to sample and review a whisky everyday for the 24 days of Advent in the run up to Christmas. My very basic criteria as I sorted through my masses of whisky and samples were these:

  1. Single malt scotch only and should be (or have been) generally/easily available
  2. Each day must be from a different distillery
  3. Each day must be equivalent in age or older than the previous

This Heavily Peated 50ppm Edradour expression bottled under the Ballechin name (to distinguish their peated from unpeated Edradour whisky) was first released in 2014. Matured in a mixture of mostly ex-bourbon and a small number of ex-Oloroso sherry casks for 10 years and then married to produce this expression.

Colour:

Full amber gold (10/20), medium-fine tears leave fine legs

Nose:

Peat smoke, sweet, dusty and chalky, vanilla cream, old book leather bindings, library, malty cereal barley and musty oak wood, slightly damp and vegetal, mossy almost, slightly damp & sweet shoe leather.

Taste:

Toffee sweet and bbq aromas, charcoal briquettes, smoke, meaty, cinnamon & wood spice, dark chocolate, citric lime zest, earthen peat, aniseed balls, liquorice, salted caramel and oak wood

Finish:

Long, peat smoke, slightly dry/grassy hay, brush smoke, burning woody Rosemary, earthy, black pepper and dark chocolate.

Overall:

What a fantastic expression, full-bodied and malty with masses of delightful Highland peat smoke influence with earthy dark chocolate. A wonderful addition to the Edradour stable.

Score: 86/100

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