Ballechin SFTC 13yo Port Cask Matured

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One of the whiskies that I cannot bring myself to like, try as I might, is Edradour. I have heard of good ones but have yet to try one myself. Edradour is owned by the renowned independent bottler, Signatory Vintage and is a very small (before Kilchoman the smallest) distillery in the Southern Highlands and are known for a very wide variety of cask finished and maturations.

In the early 2000’s Edradour began experimenting with a heavily peated malt which was branded as Ballechin. I’d dismissed it before as more Edradour, but recently tried the standard 10yo bottling and had my mind changed, much like my shock when discovering that Old Ballantruan was from Tomintoul (love Ballantruan, hate Tomintoul). So when I saw this little gem for sale I went for it. I’m a huge sucker for port and peat and figured a good port maturation would go really well with the Ballechin peat profile. To the best of my knowledge this was a full term maturation in a port cask.

Aged 13 years. 54.8% ABV. Matured in a port cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Nose: Grassy peat. Wood smoke. Boiled sweets. Sugarplums. Glazed meats. Tar. Currants. Spiced apple cider. Grape jam. Leather.

Palate: Very thick mouthfeel, but almost no burn. Rich red fruits. Teriyaki jerky. Woodspice. Cloves. Grass fire. Cedar wood. Cherry cough syrup. Salt.

Finish: Long. Salt carries through along with cherry-menthol lozenges. Currants. Grass fire. Used motor oil.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

Fan-bloody-tastic stuff this. I’m really happy I went for it. It’s really flavourful but everything is perfectly balanced, the port and peat, the ABV, the mouthfeel, just magical. I love the way the highland peat character works with the port here. It just pushes all the right buttons for me.

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