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Edradour 1996 SFTC Rum ‘Grande Arome’

Review: Edradour 1996 SFTC Rum ‘Grande Arome’
A Rum Cask Finished 11 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
84.5pts
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on November 4, 2009

edradourEdradour holds the distinction of being the smallest distillery in Scotland. It is also the last original farm distillery in Perthshire. The same wooden equipment is used to mash and ferment the whisky today, that was purchased by the distillery 170 years ago. Edradour uses the smallest copper stills in Scotland. In fact they are the smallest permissible by Scottish law. They also use the only working model of a Morton refrigerator (used in the distilling process) in the industry. You’ll find this unique distillery nestled in a small glen above Pitlochry in the Southern Highlands. A truly unique distillery, perhaps its whisky is unique as well.

In the Bottle 4.0/5

EDRADOUR 1996 SFTC Rum ‘Grande Arome’ sits in a small wooden box reminiscent of an old style wooden granary. There is even gunny sack material glued to the walls inside the box to remind you of the sacks of barley that used to be stored in such granaries. Things are small, just like the distillery. The bottle is only 500ml, I liked the presentation, but found the box granary container to be cumbersome to open.

In the Glass 9.0/10

At the store where I purchased the whisky, I was given samples of five Cask strength Edradour whiskies in all. Each one a different cask finish, and the ‘Grande Arome’ rum cask had easily the nicest nose. Floral and sweet. The rum was first aged in bourbon casks and finished in rum casks and notes of vanilla bourbon and sweet sugar ascend from the glass to the delight of the nostrils. There is little oil in the glass and the alcohol smell is strong reflecting the 53.7% cask strength.

In the Mouth 51/60

The first thing I noticed about the whisky in my mouth was an odd dryness, almost like that of a dry white wine. The aromas I noticed in the glass were present as flavours in pleasant combination, but the dryness muted the sweetness to some extent. In fact things seemed a tad bitter at the back of my throat, almost like an Orange Pekoe tea influence. I found if I let the scotch sit on my palate that there was vanilla, butterscotch, as well as a very light maltiness, but the dry tone left me wanting a little.

In the Throat 12/15

At full cask strength this is a little much in the throat. But as I let my ice cubes melt, the harshness evaporated as well. I was left with a pleasing butterscotch and light vanilla finish in my throat. The whisky seemed to pick up oil for the finish with the addition of the melted water from my ice cubes. Still that improbable dryness lingered right at the end.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Cask strength offerings are a challenge for the palate. Flavours are exaggerated, and the alcohol bite can be intimidating. I experimented with ice and water until I found the right combination which gave me the greatest pleasure. I found the tinge of dryness exhibited by the Edradour ‘Grande Arome’ whisky lessened my enjoyment to some extent at full cask strength; but with ice and water the drink became much more. I must also say that after my drink was consumed, the floral notes left in the glass were a treat for my nostrils to enjoy.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74   Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79   You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84   We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89   Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94   Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+        I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

 
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