27 May 2015

20/05/2015 Edradour distillery tour

This time, the distillery is open! The next tour starts five minutes after we reach there; it would be rude to say no. We? adc, JS and myself.

Interestingly, the tour runs in reverse to any other tour I have been on -- it starts with the tasting and progressively goes back to the milling process. Notes are short out of necessity.

Edradour 10yo (40%, OB, Sherry Cask, b. ca 2014): nose: lots of toffee and slightly burnt caramel on a bed of primrose. Time helps it release a whiff of burnt cork. Mouth: velvety, with gravy and sticky toffee pudding. Finish: more toffee and warm caramel, then comes a note of cured meat, game, and finally, cooked wine. 6/10

You get to keep the glass too
Edradour 15yo (46%, OB, Barolo Cask, b. ca 2014): nose: smoke and barbecue, meat marinade and barbecue sauce. Mouth: spices, marinated meat. Finish: it is wine-y, but quite alright, actually. 6/10

Those two complement a short film about the history of Edradour. Without being horrible, it is not particularly interesting, nor well made: it is a marketing vehicle that calls upon tradition and craft in a bid to strike an emotional chord with punter. Lo and behold, it works, considering the amount of bottles they sell in the shop. It is not as dire as the video in Bowmore, Ben Nevis or Dalmore (the worst of all), but yes, it is targeted at tourists.

The guide then whisks us off to the warehouse where I am excited to see casks that belong to Signatory Vintage (Caol Ila, Tomintoul, Glenlivet, and a few closed distilleries, but hush!) She has a hard time explaining visitors what an independent bottler is or does and what their point is. Most cannot fathom why casks of Glenlivet sit in Edradour's warehouses and which role Signatory plays into all that. I try to help, which is admittedly foolish.

Next stop is the distilling house and its two stills. Interestingly, Edradour still uses worm tubs to cool off the distilled spirit. The worms can be seen very clearly in the tubs, unlike those at Old Pulteney. They also have an open-deck Morton refrigerator, which is fascinating. On the other hand, their mill is not a Porteus. Surely, an oddity in this industry!

Worm tubs, ZOMG!

Ze bar
Glossing over the technical details (it is not the point of this blog), we finish where we started: in the shop. Purchases are made, then we are off to possibly the most interesting port of call of this place: the bar! Aside the regular Edradour range, the bar offers a selection of Signatory bottlings. Woo!

Longmorn 13yo 1996/2009 (43%, SV, Refill Sherry Butt, C#40777, 872b): nose: light and ethereal, with a bit of leather and pepper, as well as ginger. A horse stable and a pinch of tobacco. Mouth: sharp and fresh, with muesli and a bit of spice again. Finish: milk chocolate and a few drops of orange juice. Not a stellar Longmorn, though it sort of does the trick. 6/10

Glenburgie 15yo 1997/2012 (43%, SV, Hogsheads, 1928+1929, 833b): nose: orange peels, cinnamon, ground cloves, sumac. Mouth: fresh, with soft clementines and a rather unexpected kick. Finish: citrus and milk chocolate, perhaps cinnamon. 7/10

Springbank 40yo 1969/2009 (54.4%, SV Cask Strength Collection, Refill Sherry Butt, C#263, 356b): we had this one at the Show, last year, and were very impressed (I was, at least). Since one does not get to try these sorts of things every day, now seems a good time. Nose: wax (adc), loads of apples, waxy papayas, bananas, plantains. Is there a hint of smoke, here too? It is absolutely gorgeous is what it is! Mouth: creamy and delicate, with more fruit and love than I can count, as well as a sprinkle of green chilli flakes. Turkish delights? Finish: candied pistachios and candied green olives. This finish is long, velvety, creamy, fruity and so well balanced it is moving. Unbelievable. 9/10

The highlight for adc was to spot this songthrush. :-)

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