Edradour 10 2011 Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection

What was the occasion: I received a mystery sample from a whisky friend “Ricebowl” (real name changed because welcome to the internet, if that’s bugging you you can guess, it’s probably something like “Nushi” or “Maria” or “Fartmeister” or “Slam-Poetry-Outcome”). I don’t let mystery samples stick around, as in the past I completely forgot where they came from and we ended up with unreviewable whisky.

Unreviewable whisky is a silly thing for me, and has no place in this house. I’m really more flexible when I’m not doing a comedic bit, really.

What whisky did we review? Edradour 10 2011 Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection, however I didn’t know that, as this was a mystery dram. So I don’t know that. All I know is it’s reddish.

That doesn’t really get me off the hook of explaining it though. So this is a 10-year-old Edradour that was aged in an ex-Sherry cask.

A few things to note: Back in 2007, Edradour and Signatory released a different offering with the same cask number. My guess is they used the cask again. Or they reused the number. Or someone didn’t write it down correctly. Or maybe I can’t read numbers correctly.

That’s all to say I think this is a sherry cask even though it doesn’t say that, and I think it’s not first-fill based on the notes below. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

What’s the distillery? It’s a mystery, so by definition, has no distillery until it’s reviewed. However since this is the format I’m trying out and having fun with, let’s talk Edradour.

Edradour is a Scotch distillery in Perthshire, and has been around since 1825. It’s a very small distillery (some would point out the smallest and then I’d point out they are right and we’d hold hands), however it’s owned by Signatory Vintage, a very well known and very large independent bottler.

Thus you have the smallest distillery with lots of chances to have single casks. Weirdly there are Original Bottling single casks as well as Signatory releases of single casks, but I’m not in charge so perhaps there’s a good reason for having two seemingly similar product lines in one company.

What’s my bias? Since this is a mystery, I didn’t have biases going into the review. I’m blank.

I could say “yeah, it was very red”, so I thought “it’ll be sherried”, and I was primed for a sherried whisky. Beyond that? I got nothing.

In hindsight? Edradour and I have a rocky relationship. They use cool casks? I’m in. They release simple original bottlings that I feel I’d prefer to skip? I’m out. But I don’t have any Edradours that have wowed me or made me hate the distillery.

But that bias wasn’t here. That bias is for a future Edradour. Today’s Edradour is just an obvious red whisky.

Let’s see what I think about red, shall we?

Price: $100

Region: Highland

Distilled on: 23rd December 2011

Bottled on: 24th March 22

Cask No 485

Bottle No 346

Abv: 46%

Colour: 5YR 3/8

Nose: Raspberry, oranges, peaches, toffee, ginger

Fruity. Very tart and acidic, and a lot of fruit. No guesses on what it is based on the nose, as the nose is taken over by sherry. The orange makes me wonder if it’s Arran, but I’m not getting as much spice as previous Arran sherry casks, so I’m guessing it isn’t that. Granted I also went on and on that I’d be able to tell an Arran blind, and have failed doing that twice, so perhaps, perhaps I shouldn’t guess Arran?

I’m confused.

I did like the amount of fruit on the nose, though I do appreciate it more once some toffee and ginger come through. The nose is giving me a bit of alcohol burn and nothing too complex, so I’m not thinking this is a high abv. or a very old whisky.

Taste: Orange soda, cloves, buckwheat honey, peach, coffee

Nice hit of orange soda, not orange itself. That fake orange note that somehow I prefer, probably because I crave sweets. More sweets, some bitterness, a tiny bit of floral.

This needs a good amount of time to open up. Even after letting it rest 20 minutes, nosing it for 15 minutes, giving it more time to try it, and adding a drop of water, it still holds back some of the earthy/coffee flavour. Which is really the star of the whisky frankly, though to be fair to me the bitter honey note may have been where I lost some of the coffee.

I like the taste more than the nose. More going on, and less sherry dominated. Solid dram, still nothing too complex but nice.

Finish: Cinnamon, whole wheat bread, almond, ginger, light leather

Spice, nuttiness, and a strong cereal note. It takes a long time, but eventually you can coax some leather out of the flavour, though it’s not as strong as others. A pleather note, if you will? No, we won’t, move on.

I get the feeling that this is younger whisky, punching up, and a good finish with more complexity than it should. Also I get the feeling they wanted to age it longer but greedy angels took more and more, so may as well release it under Signatory’s 46% line to make some extra money.

Sherry is drenched at this point. Given that Edradour of the past in sherry had earthiness, ginger, nuttiness, and some bitterness, but also other sherried whiskies can have those flavours too, it’s a hard call. Also Edradour doesn’t get this rich, for me, in my experience.

Guess: 48%, Oloroso sherry, Glenallachie, 11-13 years old?

Actually: Edradour 10 2011 Signatory Un-Chillfiltered Collection

Conclusion: Interesting whisky, pretty nicely sherried for what it is. There’s the real chance this could have been the start to a really complex, older whisky, but my initial thought is it’s lost too much to the angels to keep around much longer so it was sold off as a single cask while it was still good.

Good call, personally. This whisky is quite the sherry monster. Previous Edradour I had was funkier and had more earth. The earth flavour here is wrapped up in a lot of sherry and sweet notes, coming out as leather or coffee or bitter honey. I can’t really say I got a lot of funk either.

Frankly I’d have a hard time passing up a bottle of this whisky. It tastes better than Edradour standard offerings, it’s not rough, and there’s moments where it punches well above its release. Also it just tastes better the more you have. Are there better Edradour whiskies? Yes. Will they be as cheap as this? No, never, so grab this.


Scotch review #1624, Highland review #274, Whisky Network review #2352

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