Ballechin 2003 18 year old

Posted 21 January 2022 by Matt / In Edradour
The Dramble reviews Whisky Sponge Ballechin 2003 18 year old

Bottle Name: Ballechin 2003

ABV: 48.5%
Distillery: Edradour
Bottler: Whisky Sponge
Region: Highlands Age: 18
Glass Weight: 489g

Being released this morning, medievally styled Whisky Sponge Edition 47 hails from the kingdom of Edradour in the form of an 18 year old Ballechin matured in a refill sherry butt. As old as the distillate currently gets (to the best of my knowledge) this release is bottled at 48.5%. I don’t yet know the price (edit: £215 via Decadant Drinks) – but I’m certainly interested to find out as it’s very much my speed.

Nose: Immediate concentrated peat smoke that combines earthiness, wetness, mintiness and medicinalness. Water-logged soils and Vicks VapoRub join bubbling bitumen and shed felt roofing, whilst balsamic strawberries and Black Jack chews sit alongside vinous qualities and polished leather. Reduction results in a sweeter dram. And a dirtier one. Iodine and floor cleaner with air-dried ham, fennel, boiled potatoes and honeycomb.

Taste: Not messing. BBQ glaze and BBQ briquettes join a mouthful of dry fireplace ash. Over medicinalness follows with antiseptic wipes, bandages and calamine lotion. Underneath is a solid foundation of sherry – plums, raisins and burnt toffee together with cinnamon and gentle pepper. Dilution again adds sweetness with brown sugars and meat glaze together with concentrated cranberry cordial and a slightly mineral quality of pumice and mentholated artificial fire coals.

Finish: Long with ashiness, medicinalness and linger brown sugars.

Lovers of sweet and peat rejoice! Despite its recent accent to adulthood this Ballechin retains enough of its youthful piss and vinegar to joust with the best of the heavy peaters. And it does so with a wonderful combination of both elegance and brutality – a times, dainty on its feet – at others wailing down with sheer potent smokiness.

Score: 89/100


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