Edradour 10 2004 (cask 400) Straight From the Cask (60.7%, OB 2014)

A 10 year-old single cask Edradour from a sherry butt bottled at a mighty 60.7% ABV – I don’t think I need to say more. Except I will, because if the introduction doesn’t exceed 55 words the formatting gets weird. It took me a while to get into Edradour, mainly because I was never particularly inspired by the entry-level 10 year-old. Releases like this one, however, are something every whisky aficionado should try at least once.

Nose: It’s heavily sherried of course – for Edradour, apart from the baseline winey note, it means a prominent nuttiness, on roasted chestnuts. There’s also an earthy, leafy quality that balances the intense sweetness very well.

Palate: Thick, oily arrival with a lot of oak tannins. These are balanced by nuts, dark chocolate and raisins. It’s not overly complex, but what it does have is huge flavours delivered with exuberance – every one of those notes is dialled up to 11.

Finish: Long, very warming, on those ever-present roasted chestnuts.

Comments: Edradour’s big-bodied spirit is perfect for sherry maturation, and this cask is a great example. People often assume that heavy sherry adds character, but a lot of whiskies can be overwhelmed under such an intense sherry influence and just become generically ‘sherried’. Not this one – it’s a big, bold, in-your-face sherried malt that couldn’t have come from anywhere else. The closest comparison I can think of among widely available whiskies is the Aberlour a’bunadh, but with a bit more maturity.

Score: 87/100

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