Ballechin 15, 2004-2019, Bourbon casks 74+76, 52% – The Independent Whisky Bars of Scotland

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.

Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
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

Sip:
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.

Swallow:
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.

85/100

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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