James Eadie Blair Athol 14
It’s no secret that I have a lot of time for the independent bottler, James Eadie. The first time I tried their whiskies was at the Whisky Fringe last year. A bottling of Auchroisk 9 years as the Half Time Orange proved to be the dram of the day for me. This year, their HTO was a 10 year old Caol Ila finished in a Palo Cortado cask. It was simply stunning and I can’t wait for this to be released.
A few months ago, one guest in a group of American tourists who had booked on my Leith Whisky Trail tour, asked me to recommend a bottle of whisky to her. She was looking for something that wasn’t readily available in the States and which she could open and share with friends whose various whisky preferences she wasn’t entirely sure of. Without hesitation, I suggested this bottling of Blair Athol.
At the James Eadie tasting at Royal Mile Whiskies here in Edinburgh in April, this was the stand out dram from a pretty good selection. So much so that I bought a bottle there and then. Matured in a single refill sherry cask, this is bottled at 59.8% and limited to 529 bottles:
NOSE: dried fruit – sultanas and raisins; damp earth; pencil sharpenings; barley sugar; warm cinnamon buns with icing; ginger nuts. A few drops of water enhances the pencil sharpenings and brings out hints of almonds.
PALATE: dark fruits – hint of dates and prunes with blackcurrant in the background; the blackcurrant really comes out in the finish; marzipan; ginger; dark chocolate; a slightly bitter but not unpleasant finish. With a few drops of water, the cinnamon really comes to the fore and lingers on the tip of the tongue.
CONCLUSION: a well balanced whisky. It works well without any water at all but can take a few drops; anything more than a few drops and the spice is too prominent.
Currently available at Royal Mile Whiskies for £64.95