A big, heavy decanter is a nice thing. There’s just something oddly reassuring about pouring a dram from a weighty bottle. We’ve not really spoken about glassware on The Dramble before – truth be told there’s more than enough glass comparisons out there on fellow bloggers sites – and I’ll take some convincing that the 1920’s Blender’s Glass isn’t the best for reviewing with and the worst for cleaning thereafter. But, perhaps there’s more unique mileage to be had in us taking looking at decanters one of these days? Andrew Symington from Edradour/Signatory would probably think so – many of the distillery’s/bottler’s expressions come delivered in easily recognisable heavyweight glass. But, I’ll be honest – I have no actual no idea what an Ibisco decanter really is.
Where does the word Ibisco come from? I, and many others would easily recognise the decanter’s shape – somewhat squat, somewhat wide and with a large aperture that stubbornly won’t fit most 10 or 25cl measured spirit pourers. Signatory/Edradour seem to have either cornered the market, or created it. For a company that famously does little to no marketing, the decanter is digitally synonymous with them. It’s a rare thing nowadays – to not know something, but to walk away from the Internet none the wiser. Dramble readers, feel free to enlighten me with your knowledge!
In the meantime, we’ll review an Ibisco – and try not be annoyed that we can only describe its shape and not its origin. This Edradour Natural Cask Strength bottling was released in March 2018 and was drawn from a small collection of ex-bourbon casks with 10 years of maturation under their belt. Delivered at a pokey 60.9% ABV with 1583 bottles available, you can still pick one of these up from Whisky Exchange for £72.95.
Nose: Rather savoury with olive bread, batter mix and yeasty dough alongside salted butter. Ex-bourbon notes come through with desiccated coconut, cinema popcorn (savoury not sweet) and some dusty toffee. Reduction offers a broad expansion of aroma with sour oranges, leather, cream crackers and some fusty and musty dunnage warehousing.
Taste: The arrival has zip and zing – grapefruit, gooseberry and lemon sherbet. Toffee, coconut and toasted bread coat the palate, before a heady delivery of cask spices (pepper and allspice) take hold – they too are zingy and awakening. In the background, vanilla and toasted corn offer more typical ex-bourbon joys whilst coconut oils an butter hark to the underlying weight of the Edradour spirit. The addition of water reduces some of the edginess here – at 60.9% there’s room to play. However, at the same time, there’s still an incredible array of spice here – anise, ginger and chilli pepper joining the party. Spicy stuff.
Finish: Medium in length with heavily charred casks and a fading juicy young oak adding dryness.
This powerful ex-bourbon Edradour will certainly spice up your life. Whilst the nose is savoury and oily, the palate is a riot of pronounced and dynamic cask influence. Pleasingly it rarely feels overly oaked in flavour, but the intensity is there none the less - hot, fiery and rather take no prisoners – even when reduced. Big, single-minded cask strength whisky. Exactly as it says on the tin.
But don't take our word for it..
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