Ballechin 2004 The Sands of Sponge

Posted 20 October 2021 by Matt / In Edradour
The Dramble reviews Ballechin 2004 17 year old The Sands of Sponge

Bottle Name: Ballechin 2004 The Sands of Sponge

ABV: 53.7%
Distillery: Edradour
Bottler: Whisky Sponge
Region: Highlands Age: 17

The opening panel of Whisky Sponge’s ‘Spongetopia’ Ballechin triptych has been matured full term in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel for 17 years and then offered up at its natural cask strength of 53.7% ABV. 188 bottles were produced of the now sold out expression – all adorned with the ‘Spongelith’ – part Kubrick, part closing shot of Planet of the Apes. All Sponge.

Nose: Smoked herbal tea sits alongside barnyard peat (sans any overt ‘dunginess’) – turned hay, leather saddles and a fully under control barn fire. Earthiness runs throughout – alluvial motifs of gravels and putties – alongside lamp oil and a selection of first aid box materials. Menthol imbued Chantilly cream wraps things up. Reduction presents golden grains, soot and touches of rubber whilst diminishing the rocky quality that presented neat.

Taste: More compact and intensive. The arrival delivers a pang of balsamic before bitumen, cold cream and swipe of floor cleaner sit alongside a drizzle of BBQ sauce. Chiselled minerality follows with limestone cliffs and loam sand. Chopped herbs joins a tub of Vicks Vapor Rub whilst again the oddly mentholated Chantilly lurks. Water is worth playing with – ash and a strawberry forward mixed salad together with wood lacquer and burnt electrical boards. Oddly wonderful.

Finish: Long, tarry and medicinal with a fading sharp minerality.

The distillate sings loudly throughout this not quite, but nearly naked Sponge Ballechin. There’s plenty going on here and whilst much of it might seem divergent, none of it is either a distraction or a misstep. Far from a daily drammer, but thoroughly enjoyable to sift through the sands of the Sponge nevertheless. Multifaceted stuff.

Review sample provided by Decadent Drinks

Score: 89/100


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