Yet another The Whisky Exchange exclusive bottling which I review from a sample provided by them. I’ve been given this and another one during Billy’s trip to Maltstock, which I sadly couldn’t visit myself. However, there was time for beers in Amsterdam, so we met before and after the festival, with a very distinct difference in Billy’s level of fitness.
Anyway, a ridiculously dark Ballechin. Ballechin is a brand that I’ve shunned in the past for their lack of reliability. After all, it’s just peated Edradour, and I’ve not had (m)any positive experiences with that brand. Having said that, at 2018’s Maltstock festival there also was a Ballechin, considerably lighter in hue, that was rather cracking. It’s not necessarily shit, so to say.
Strong and sweet on the arrival. And it keeps building. Leathery, lots of fruit and smoke. Big flavors with black cherries, dates, straw, soot.
The finish is a bit more gentle, but with more focus on the ashes and soot. A tad drying.
I was told this was a good one, but with the name Ballechin, I was skeptical. I was wrong. The Bowmore comparison is in the vein of their Laimrig/Devil’s Casks. It’s lacking a bit of salinity, but other than that it’s rather similar. This Ballechin has more of a highland style smokiness which is reminiscent of burnt heather and log fires.
Ballechin 2003-2019, 15 years old, Refill sherry butt 204, 55%. Available at The Whisky Exchange for £ 110.