I tried this whisky on two different occasions. Once at Fiddler’s in 2019, and recently when it also popped out of the Advent Calendar I’ve been going on about for a while now.
Ballechin, as some of you might know, is peated Edradour. And generally Edradour scares me a little bit. Although, Billy proved that there’s some good ones available, back at Maltstock a few years ago.
Let’s just see where this one sits.
A mix of coastal and highland peat. Quite intense on the smokiness. White pepper, a whiff of oak. Mostly grass, smoke, straw, a bit of minerals. Honey, with a bit of medicinal scent behind it. The coastal peat dimishes with some time. Something slightly custard-y
The palate starts off very light, almost watery. But it builds up rapidly with vanilla and custard, some honey. Smoke, straw, seaweed. Quite coastal for a Pitlochry distillery. White pepper, oak, barley.
The finish brings a lot of salinity, together with a lot of smoke. It’s pretty sweet with some vanilla, although it’s more a barley sweetness than custard.
I have to admit I’m not a fan of Ballechin in general, and less so of Edradour. And while this is a very decent whisky, it just doesn’t do it for me. As in, I like it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but I don’t get all giddy thinking about it either.
It’s interesting that I found this quite a coastal dram, which is absolutely isn’t. There’s quite a lot of vanilla in it too, which makes it a little bit more generic.
So, is this a good Ballechin? Comparatively, yes.
Is this a good whisky? Sure.
Would I buy a bottle? Nope.