Review No. 10 – Ballechin SFTC 12 Year Old Chateuaneuf-du-Pape Cask Matured

Ballechin is Edradour’s peated whisky, and the name is a wee head-nod to a nearby silent distillery that closed in the 1920s. Part of an expansion of Edradour’s core range in 2006 by owners Signatory, their Straight From The Cask series features a multitude of different cask finishes and age statements.

I received this sample a few days ago and managed to sit down at the weekend to enjoy it. I’d perused Edradour’s wine finishes for a while, and I jumped when given the opportunity to get sent a sample of one. Gratefully received from Stewart – check him out on Twitter.

So, what we know:

– It’s 1 of 361 bottles drawn from Cask No. 185.

– Bottled at cask strength, producing a toasty ABV of 56.6%.

– Aged for just over 12 years.

– NCA (and I presume NCF).

– A smaller bottling of 50cl/500ml.

Colour: Light/Pale Gold

Nose: Delicious initial whiff of Granny Smith apples, freshly cut, but with a slight citrus nip going on. The first few nosings are certainly well-rounded and the sharpness associated with citrus is missing, but I like that. There’s a freshness to it, and the aroma of cut grass can be found rising from the glass. It reminds me of early spring. 8.5/10

Palate: It’s sweet with a bit of tartness. Less Granny Smith and more grapefruit(y-ish). I also find a bit of white pepper, which marries very well with the sweet citrusy character. Adding a dash of water opens the whisky up a bit more, and it dilutes the pepper and tartness that’s going on allowing that apple sweetness to come back. It’s very enjoyable. 8/10

Finish: Minimal bite or peppery character. The white wine cask is particularly noticeable on the roof of my mouth. It’s a medium finish, somewhat dry, and a tad tart too, but a pleasant ending. 7.5/10

Total: 24/30

It’s a hard life.

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