Blind Tasting #6: Edradour 2010 9 Years (The Ultimate)
Didn’t I say yesterday that the Blind Tasting Competition would continue down the sherry-maturation path? Well, they don’t make ’em more heavily sherried than this Edradour 2010 9 Years bottled by Van Wees in their The Ultimate range. This is fucking insanity.
The label only mentions maturation in a 1st fill sherry butt. I’m thinking that has to have been a Pedro Ximénez cask. It just has all the telltale signs and from the first quick smell it was all I could think about. Because of yesterday’s Speyside whisky, that entire region was out-of-play today, significantly narrowing down possibilities for sample #6. And honestly, how many Highland distilleries release heavily-sherried, funky single malt whisky? Edradour just seemed like as good a guess as any. Very happy to have gotten the distillery correct for the second time this competition.
Van Wees have released a number of extreme Edradour this past year, all from Signatory Vintage stock and each of them dark as cola. And you know what happens to dark-coloured whisky, right? It gets snapped up as if it was manna from heaven. In my opinion you should be extremely cautious with these types of whiskies. Oftentimes they can very one-note and sometimes barely resemble proper malt spirit.
Edradour 2010 9 Years (56.2%, The Ultimate, C#417)
Nose: Hi Pedro (Ximénez)! Sour, copper coins, but strangely enough also lemon yoghurt. Make no mistake though, this is an over the top bomb. Hints of rum raisins, balsamic vinegar, crème de cassis and nougat. With some sulphur as well, if that’s your thing. If you’re into PX, you should probably buy this.
Taste: Thick and syrupy mouthfeel. There’s some interesting bright citrus notes behind the sherry attack. Milk chocolate and chili pepper, some pickled lemons too, as well balsamic and tablet.
Finish: Lingering notes of brown sugar and dates. Pretty long.
So hard to score, as I find it has some undesirable elements (because of the likely Pedro Ximénez maturation). It has plenty of redeeming qualities though, and those disagreeable factors fade into the background pretty quickly. So I suppose I’d say this about it: I’d be happy if a friend offers me this, but I wouldn’t soon buy a bottle.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.