Ballechin 10 years

Ballechin is the name given to the peated whisky (50 ppm) from Edradour distillery, the production of which started in 2003. The Ballechin 10 years was first released in 2014, which explains why I don’t recall seeing it on the shelves during my previous visit to the distillery. Although I don’t remember exactly, this must have been in 2008 and, at that time, Edradour was still able to confidently market itself as the ‘smallest distillery in Scotland’. So a recent visit to Pitlochry granted me the opportunity to take another wee nosey around and pick up a miniature of Ballechin 10 years – a ‘whisky discovery’ for me.

The peated whisky is named after the farm distillery that was situated nearby; production of whisky at Ballechin ceased in 1927. However, a newspaper article from The Scotsman, dated 5th December 1932, reported that ‘50 gallons of proof whisky’ were stolen from the distillery which means that casks continued to be stored in the bonded warehouses after production had ended. In fact, the final casks were removed at the end of 1933.

Matured in a combination of (mostly) ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso casks, this whisky has been bottled at 46% abv without chill filtration.

Nose: my first impression is that it’s, quite literally, like a breath of fresh air. It reminds me of when you’ve been outdoors all day and then come inside; whatever that smell is, this is it! There’s rain on freshly cut grass and damp soil. After a while, the sweet butterscotch sauce that was lurking in the background starts to creep to the fore mixed with wafts of smoke.

Palate: a thin, almost oily, texture; vanilla fudge followed by lemon bonbons; heather honey; there’s some cinnamon spice amongst the sweetness; cigar smoke; dark chocolate comes through on the finish which is long and slightly dry.

Price (70cl) : £41.95

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