Ballechin 2005 The Secondary Darkness
Posted 20 October 2021 by Matt / In Edradour
Bottle Name: Ballechin 2005 The Secondary Darkness
Bottler: Whisky Sponge
The final edition (36C) of WhiskySponge’s anti-utopian threesome has been matured for its entire 15 years in a 2nd fill sherry hogshead. 266 bottles have been produced at an ABV of 57.3% - and its Kafkaesque, 1984-tinged label will be made all the more amusing / depressing (delete as appropriate) for every additional bottle that is eagerly dispatched to the secondary market.
Nose: Chilli-imbued hot chocolate and dark maple syrup sit alongside blackberry preserve. Shoe polish and dusty, damp cellars are deepened with game pie and cherry cavendish pipe tobacco, whilst plump raisins and smoked lapsang souchong tea join lump coal for a delicate, subsumed smoke influence. Reduction lightens the affairs with milk chocolate and workbenches played off against workhouses – lamp oil, axle grease and industrial lubricants.
Taste: Controlled boldness. Liquid smoke and BBQ extract together with intensely reduced berries and Black Jack anise chews. Tar, axle grease and chimney smoke again play into the industrial underpinnings of the distillate, whilst spent coffee grounds, burnt bacon and spent cigars reflect the spirit’s interaction with the sherry cask. Smoke ancho chilli and dark chocolate wrap things up. Water presents a broader fruity profile with mixed fruit salad drizzled in chilli chocolate together with ozone, engine oil and greasy rags. But be careful, despite the highest ABV of the triptych, this thins the easiest.
Finish: Long with persistent sweet, thick smoke – berries and heavy industry.
Edition 36C delivers the tried and tested combination of sweet with peat – and in doing so, won’t fail to please those who are fans of this style. The balance between the spirit and the cask is excellent - particularly on the palate which offers both in a powerful equilibrium. A little more hydrophobic then the other two editions in the sequence, but that’s really just nit-picking. Excellent.
Review sample provided by Decadent Drinks
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