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Edradour 10 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

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It's been a while since I've picked up a single-malt scotch. The last one I had was aged 15 years in sherry—an absolute beast of a scotch, custom-made for my local liquor store by Highland Park. I stocked up on three bottles, and it sold out quickly. For a year, I savored all three, very patiently, one pour at a time. When I ran out, it was like my favorite musician had called it quits. (Really, he lost touch with what made him untouchable in his heyday... thanks, Prince.)


I backed off scotch the following year, thinking I'd be hard pressed to find its equal. I still haven't found a similarly aged single malt—15 years in sherry seemed unusual. Last weekend, I decided to test the waters and try to find something decent. I settled on a 10-year-old single malt produced by Edradour, which prides itself as "Scotland's smallest distillery" on its label. My consultant in the store noted that Edradour has only three employees, and produces about as much whisky in an entire calendar year as your average brewing conglomerate (think Macallan) might produce in a week. Now, a small-run drink is like a limited-press record: it's now or never, before the damn thing sells out. I walked out with a bottle.

To my palate, a single ice cube in a 1.5 oz pour of scotch provides a pleasant chill, as well as the right amount of dilution to cut down on any alcohol burn. The latter is a non-issue with this particular scotch; it is light and airy on the nose, with sherry up-front (a good thing, given the sherry finish I was looking for) and a nice balance of toasted caramel, vanilla and almond. The first sensation on my tongue is a soft, silky feeling—almost like warm honey, or a light cream—very welcoming, with no harshness or overwhelming punch of flavor. The sherry is also prominent on the finish, but doesn't disguise the delicate flavors of the drink. It leans fruity, not too malty, like a good rum; the almond scent steps forward on the tongue. The finish is primarily one of spiced fruit and vanilla, with a lingering mint note.

Overall, this is a gentle, pleasing, nicely sherried scotch that is well suited to my tastes. There is a sincere, handcrafted presence in the depth, yet subtlety, of different flavors at play. To return to my music analogy at the start: if my treasured, heavily sherried, custom-made Highland Park is like Purple Rain—an indisputable classic—then the Edradour 10 is, perhaps, like Parade—a bit understated, less bright and punchy, but quite enjoyable in its own right. I'm only a fourth into the bottle, so I'll be enjoying this for a few weeks to come. Tonight, I just poured my glass, and Parade will be my soundtrack.

(By the way, if you can't find this scotch in your local liquor store, or order it online, then you owe it to yourself to at least pick up a copy of this album!)

Last Updated on Friday, 19 August 2011 19:48  


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