Now to continue my ongoing need to finish off whiskies that all come from the same distillery, it’s time for the smallest (in size, not in ferocity) distillery in Scotland, Edradour. So remember: As one Edradour closes, another one opens.
I’ve mentioned before that my generation (Millenial) haven’t taken to the difference between initialisms and acronyms well. I’m not the first to bring this up, but it bears repeating: We treat everything like an acronym.
For those of you who have full lives and don’t care about tiny things like how English is meant to work based on shortening words and how to pronounce them, allow me to explain. When a word is made up of the letters of a sentence, and that word is meant to be stated out loud, that’s an acronym. Scuba, for example, stands for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. We say Scuba out loud. On the flip side, for an initialism, if you’re supposed to say each individual letter and not say it as a word. When I say FBI, you read it as “F-B-I”, and not “fibbee”. Well, maybe you do, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you follow the rest of us.
However, when describing each of these, most of us younglings will call them both an acronym, and try to say them. See BTAC, for example. If you just said “beetack”, then you’re like me. If not, congrats, I hope you’re not going bald too.
Thus when I write “SFTC” it may not have the intended effect. It stands for Straight from the Cask and is the line-up that I really changed the game for Edradour. Whisky nerds love things that haven’t been messed with. Heck, don’t we all? Otherwise organic, natural, and other fairly nebulous statements would have no effect on marketing.
So the case here is simple: Each of these is a single cask, each has a type of cask, they had nothing done to them, and they came out as they were in the cask. Beyond bottle shock, or the lowering of the flavour on a whisky that happens sometimes when you bottle it, this is as the distiller tasted it.
I personally am a big fan of single casks, so let’s see how these do, shall we?
Thanks to /u/WDMC-905 for this sample
Edradour 10 2005 SFTC Sherry
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Type: Sherry butt
Cask Number: 75
Number of Bottles: 982
Colour: 7.5YR 3/6
Nose: Cranberry, basil, red liquorice, papaya, walnut
Very sherried. Much wow. Way red fruits.
There’s an interesting mixture of red fruit and wood here. Fruit takes over quite a bit. Given that Edradour has fruit going on already, this is fruit on fruit on fruit, which doesn’t work as well as hip hop and stacks.
Taste: Red grape, mint, nutmeg, ginger, coffee
More fruit, some earth spices to balance it. Nothing is getting crazy here, though sipping on this after a meal is nice.
You know, if you needed an alcoholic switch up for coffee.
Finish: Brown sugar/maple candy, ginger, walnut
Finish is a bunch of brown sugar. It’s really hard to look around it, like… well a giant pile of brown sugar that obstructs your vision.
Hey, it’s not always good writing here, sometimes I’m tired too. What I’m saying is the finish is simple.
Conclusion: Straightforward, simple, powerful. This is a bunch of sherry influence and red fruits. I can see sitting back with it and be enjoying it without thinking too much.
For all the things about this that scream “good”, it doesn’t really do it for me. Yes, I’m thinking that if you bottled this at a lower strength or without the sherry it wouldn’t have worked at all. So I appreciate that.
So I think this should have been moved to an ex-bourbon cask instead of dumping it. But who knows what financial reasons may have pushed it out.
Thanks to /u/Theslicknick6 for this sample.
Edradour 13 2003 SFTC Chardonnay
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Type: Chardonnay Cask
Distilled: 23rd June 2003
Bottled: 7th February 2017
Cask No: 263
Outturn: 382 bottles
Colour: 7.5YR 4/6
Nose: Daisy, grape musk/funk, mushroom broth, yeast
Floral and funky. Nice amount of grape on it, which mixes in with the funky/umami elements. Love the dirty element at first, with water bringing out yeast to back it up.
Taste: White grape juice, raspberry, lime, cereal
Wait, where did the funk go? It’s like a bad party, all the funk left. Lighter fruit and acidity heavy here. And what’s acid without funk?
Finish: Mushroom crostini, dry pear, oak, ginger
Some earth, but it’s clean up its act. Gone all legitimate. Only sips on a vodka and soda at parties. Never lets its hair down. Will die in its office chair.
Oops, projecting again.
Conclusion: Starts out funky, then goes too clean. The nose was really interesting, and then it’s all acidity and cereal on the taste. The finish hints at some funk, though never deliver on it. It’s just earth. A dram I used to know. Kinda a letdown, though nice enough to sip on.
Thanks to /u/WDMC-905 for this sample.
Edradour 13 2002 SFTC Barolo
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Types: Ex-bourbon hogshead from the 28th May 2002 to the 28th February 2011, then Finishes in a Barolo Hogshead from the 28th February 2011 to the 4th September 2015
Outturn: 418 bottles
Colour: 5YR 4/6
Nose: Fungal wood, cranberry, funk, cherrywood, caramel
You know, fungal wood, like the old boards your parents gave you as a kid to practise with a hammer and nail.
Just me? Okay. Lots of wood and red fruits, plus funk. Water cleans it up, gives more caramel
Taste: Cranberry, lemon-lime soda, basil, caramel, plum, passionfruit
Less wood now, and more fruit. It’s a bit young on the tongue. Lots of sweets and fruits, plus some basil. So like a high-end fruit salad at one of them fancy restaurants.
Finish: Oak/vanilla, mushroom, cherry, lemon, thyme
Lots and lots of wood. Initially, that’s all the finish is. Water really opens it up, letting the red wine cask singe a bit more. Herbs balance it all out.
Conclusion: Save for a bit of a respite on the tongue, this is wood heavy. It takes to water really well. I could see them releasing this at a lower cask strength and still making some money.
That said, it’s an interesting one. If you can get past the wood and more wood, you get a herbal fruity mixture. There are rough edges to be sure, but for a cask strength sipper, you can do much worse.
Scotch reviews #949-951, Highland reviews #155-157, Whisky Network reviews #1502-1504