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Are You Tasting the Pith? - 26th December 04

Isn't Christmas Brilliant?!

A short one this week, as I'm having some time off over Christmas.

I love whisky, and occasionally branch out and try a bottle of something new. I love Islay malts in all their various incarnations, and have been known to splash out on what my friend Ali refers to as "bling" whisky - basically, anything over 40. A couple of recent favourite blings can be found here. I even love the hint of Islay that can be found in a blend like J&B Rare. Phwoar, I love Islay.

So Purely in the Interests of Research, I thought I'd go for something non-Islay, although my bling tendencies drove me towards a bottle of Edradour 10yr old (around 30). I can't even pretend that I knew what I was getting into. I just chose it on the basis that it was from a small distillery, and the tasting notes mentioned 'oloroso', and I love a cask finish.

Now, I love a good wallop from whisky, and have been known to drink Ardbeg Uigeadail straight up, along with a lot of B-movie Sam Spade-style wincing, but my preferred method of drinking/tasting whisky is to put an ice cube in a glass, and pour whisky till the ice cube just starts to float. You get the flavour of the pure whisky at the start, then the diluted flavour, and then, well, to be honest, it rarely hangs around that long - it's usually just an ice cube clunking around, waiting for a refill.

Edradour seems a little tight in it's raw state, both on the nose and in the mouth. Perhaps this is only in comparison with the blossoming of flavour that a few drops of water, or about 2 minutes of ice cube, brings. This really bring out the soft marzipanny flavour, and the sherryish hints, and the long, creamy finish, just as described on the bottle. Absolutely delicious, and worth every penny.

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