Ballechin 12yo, 2004-2016, Manzanilla Sherry Cask Matured
ABV: 55.6%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Manzanilla Sherry Cask (#278, 495 btl.)
Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: The nose starts off with smoked ham, dry sherry notes, oranges and raisins, acacia honey and bonfire smoke. Slightly medicinal with herbs and hints of cough syrup in the back.
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate. Smoky and spicy at first with pepper, ginger, cloves and oak. Very warming. Sweet and tender fruity notes of cherries and plums arrive, nicely mixed with dry sherry. Oily and minerally with phenols, hints of salt and cough syrup towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, warm and subtle sweet with plums and hints of barley sugar. Drying smoke on the tail with a bitter herbal touch.
With water: On the nose, water tames the smoky and fruity character, bringing more sooty flavours to the fore. More sweet and less spicy on the palate with lingering fruity notes of cherries and plums. Slightly warming with a soapy touch. The finish is a bit shorter, soapy with smoke, and a touch of fruity sweetness.
Comments: An exciting Highlander displaying a fascinating interplay of smokiness, sweetness and spiciness. Rich, nicely complex with depth. While oily, earthy and greasy neat, water opens this dram underlining its fruity and sweet character. Certainly a perfect choice for cold winter days.
I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph!

Ballechin 12yo, 2004-2016, Burgundy Cask Matured
ABV: 52.2%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Burgundy Wine Cask (#15, 281 btl.)
 
Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: Fruity with sour fruits, wine aroma and cereals, nicely interwoven with wet wood smoke. Delicate notes of smoked ham arrive garnished with a mix of sweet and sour red berries. There's subtle sultanas with a tender peppery note and a whiff of marzipan in the back.
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate. Wine gums mixed with coal dust, a light cereal note and a very warming spiciness of pepper and subtle oak. Dark cherries and plum jam, accompanied by smoked ham and a hint of peat. Noticeable dry with adstringent oak towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, warm and creamy with wine gums and slightly bitter grape peel. Drying smoke on the tail with noticeable adstringent oaky tones.
With water: There's significantly more smoke coming through with a few drops of water. Red berries and cherries dominate, pushing the smoky and peaty flavours in the background. Less sweet, less fruitiness and subtle warming but very dry on the palate. Adstringent oak and dry smoke dominate. The finish is medium long, warm, subtle sweet and very, very dry.
Comments: A reliable Highlander displaying a good and delicate array of flavours. The smoke is beautifully balanced with the sweet and fruity aroma of the Burgundy cask. The nose is gorgeous. But maybe the wine cask has imparted too much intensity as the adstringency of the oak is disruptive to my palate. Nonetheless, a bold and chewy single malt for after dinner. With water, however, this dram becomes dry as a bone!
 
I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph!

Ballechin 10yo, 2004-2015, The Clanadonia Series - #1 Tu-Bardh
ABV: 46%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Distillery
Cask type: Sherry Butt (#338, 728 btl.)

 

Colour: Old gold.
Nose: Wood smoke mixed with coal dust and a hint of peat on the nose. Fresh with a light cereal note and a touch of sweet sherry coming in over the top.
Palate: Rich with sweet notes of dates and raisins, followed by a bold and intense warming spiciness of peat, tender smoke, oak and nutmeg. Sweet barley sugar and subtle smoked ham nicely intermingle with spicy acacia honey and tender cinnamon towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is medium to long and warm with a dry sweetness, burnt caramel and a touch of peat smoke on the tail.
With water: Dry, smoky and slightly medical on the nose with a splash of water. Oak and ginger in the back. Less sweet on the palate with more phenolic character, cloves and oak spice. Dry and slightly warming. The finish is short to medium long, less sweet, dry, and somewhat warming with spicy notes of acacia honey, peat, and a hint of smoke.
Comments: A nice smoky whisky from Edradour. Bold and young with a peaty character. Good balance of sherry derived flavours and oak spice. Lacks some complexity, but a promising spirit though. Best to enjoy neat.

 

I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph!