The first release of the 2003 Bourbon Cask Edradour was magnificent. A whisky best described as intense, it packed three litres of flavour into a 700ml bottle. Then came the 1999 Sherry Cask. The first bottle I bought was unpleasant. Undaunted, I tried again but the second bottle didn't live up up to the low standard of the first. If you would like to know more about that debacle in particular or the Edradour Distillery in general, you may like to click here.
Edradour, I have found, is an inconsistent Malt. The first release of the 2003 Bourbon Cask was a powerful dram that many would rate in the low to mid 90's. The 1999 Sherry Cask was either the victim of a batch wide contamination that would make Union Carbide proud or just bloody awful. In any case, the buck stops with Edradour.
Colour: Yellow gold. Nary a hint of artificial colouring here. Far too hot to drink neat; water, a lot of water, is its friend.
Nose: Grassy, green apples, lemon essence, grapefruit and peach. Yeast, grain and vanilla.
Palate: Intense, young, (tastes much younger than its 11 years). Lashings of spearmint, vanilla, sour pineapple and marzipan. Lovely, creamy mouthfeel. Developes into a spicy, hot, spirit driven dram, not much cask influence. Spirit competes with vanilla for dominance of the lingering finish, and finally, some oak.
I opened this bottle six months ago. Squeals of delight from the malt lovers present that evening (recalling the magnificence of the first bottling) quickly turned to howls of disappointment. And so the bottle sat undisturbed for some time. Six months later things are much improved. Time in the glass also helps; letting it sit, watered, for at least ten minutes, will reveal more flavour and less heat. If the original release was kinda Cate Blanchett; intense, complex, seductive and memorable, this bottling is more Emma Watson; young, hot, rich, and utterly forgettable.