Do you like peat? But have you ever tasted peat aged in sherry barrels?
It is not on Islay that we are going to go for this, but in the middle of Highldands in the EDRADOUR distillery, to taste its BALLECHIN (the peaty range of the distillery).
The version we are going to test is produced from 50 ppm malted barley and was then matured in 2007 in a sherry oloroso barrel for 11 years.
To avoid masking any taste, the aged liquid was bottled directly from the barrel to the bottle without any filtering. Also, it is raw, without fuss, as if it were put from the barrel into the glass (which is the principle of the SFTC range of the brand -Strength From The Cask -NDLR-).
Result a big slap! I advise you to sit with a glass of water nearby before you start drinking it. Indeed, I don't know if you will be able to get up once the tasting begins. "Sir" still has a title at 61° (one of the strongest). Moreover I think that's why EDRADOUR decided to pack it in a very solid wooden box (perhaps to anticipate any risk of explosion of the bottle -NDLR-).
Let's get back to the tasting.
Already I suggest you look at the color of the liquid in your glass. It has a beautiful deep golden colour, almost brown. We can clearly recognize the impact of the sherry aloroso barrel (Andalusian white wine), which will also be unique here (number 18).
Watch your nose! Watch your nose! When you decide to dip it in the glass, it takes a volley of black fruits (prune, raisin) with quite incredible power (to make you cry but also a smile of pleasure on the upcoming tasting). Big tasting.
Let's leave some air on our nose before we plunge it back into the glass. There always powerful, it is notes of smoky, sweet, caramelized, spicy notes that appear. We could almost discover dark chocolate. Once your head stops spinning (and you have tasted it naturally), pour a drop or two of water into it, it will calm the fire in your glass and release all the aromas of sherry (very fruity).
When it enters the mouth, the liquid invades everything. Its power is a slap in the face. A thick, oily and smoky mixture fills the space and stagnates for a few moments. As it should be, we should keep the liquid and turn it in our mouth for 11 seconds, but it turns out it will be difficult because it is so powerful.
However, once the palate is used to it (i.e. on the second pass), the aromas that emerge are quite fruity, sweet, all mixed with a very pleasant cinnamon touch, all wrapped in a sweet smoke.
The sensation is quite long and leaves in the mouth sweet aromas of smoke and spices.
This whisky is a great discovery but you have to hurry because there are only 955 bottles.
Oh, yeah, I forgot, remember to put it back in its wooden box, you never know!