Ballechin 2003, 15 yo Sherry Cask {for TWE}

Ballechin, which is Peated Edradour , in case you’re not familiar with the name, is getting quite popular among whisky lovers in recent years, and not without reason. The Peated character really works well with the Edradour profile, and although I am not the biggest Edradour fan (Yes, I’ve tasted some good ones, of course), I quite enjoy recent Ballechins, and this one’s a really good example of one.

Made in 2003 at Edradour distillery, this 15-year-old Ballechin single malt has been matured in a single refill sherry butt, before being bottled in April 2019 to celebrate The Whisky Exchange’s 20th Anniversary, a total of 482 bottles.

Ballechin 15 yo 2003, 55%, OB for TWE 20th Anniversary 2019, first-fill Oloroso sherry butt #204

Nose: earthy and dark, full of tobacco leaves cigars, black tea, Lapsang if you will.. Smoky chimneys, sweet sticky black fruit, tar, Sultana and fig jam. Slightly medicinal as well.. That’s one big and bold nose… I’m loving it. 

Palate : dry and spicy earthy goodness on the entry with lots of smoke, soot and tar. More Lapsang tea, cigar leaf, and peat. Quite some wine influence, with big tannic notes as well, prune jam, chocolate and stewed  berries, leather and licorice, then getting sooty. 

Finish : earth, soot, tar, wood smoke, spent cigar. 

Conclusion: A big peaty, feisty, and tarry, and dark-profiled whisky, which is plain lovely if you’re a peat / smoke lover. The Oloroso sherry cask also adds a nice fruity, sweet, chocolate-y edge, which works great with the cigar leaf and tobacco/ smoky tea profile. Great stuff. Peated Highland? yes!

Score: 89/100

Still available on the TWE site for £110

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