Edradour 12 year ‘Caledonia’ 43%

I first tried Edradour’s ‘Caledonia’ back in 2013 as part of an evening that featured a Glenlivet quarter of 12, 15, 18 and 21 years. Personally I quite enjoyed the Edradour’s robust character however some in our group weren’t fans.

I then purchased an Edradour 10 year which fuelled two whisky tasting sessions featuring Signatory whiskies (original & Bombay Malt + Cigars) where I discovered how wonderfully its sherry berry warmth paired with cigars.

For me, the Edradour 10 was a rich desert whisky – not one for every day but when in the mood for its dark fruity flavours, was a darn good dram.

So when picking out minis in London a few months ago, naturally thought to revisit the Edradour Caledonia!

edradour-12-year-caledonia

Here is what we found:

  • Nose – Rich dried fruits, bursting with dates, nuts and generous dollop of rum, christmas cake literally soaked with dark rum, chocolate rum raisins, very sweet, then other elements emerges like the creamy frosting on a mince pie, a hint of salty brine, now cake with a rich fatty vanilla ice cream, almost like sweetened condensed milk, butter tart with pecans and raisins, sticky toffee pudding…
  • Palate – Sweet spices of cloves, cinnamon, allspice and a little star anise, bread pudding, berries, very ‘full’ big and bold
  • Finish – A proper finish! With sweet spices including a more pronounced star anise element, a bit bitter and deliciously long

What was most remarkable about this whisky was how the nose evolved. From the typical sherry notes to a slightly salty then creamy character, it then took on a very sweet coffee chocolatey malt like a rich dark stout, then after even more time elapsed had a vegetal quality like stumbling into a vegetable patch with cabbage and cucumbers… when we revisited after an hour, could not believe what happened! The vegetable patch had become a sour mash?!

While the end note wasn’t so appealing what was remarkable is the range of aromas…

Overall it was such a treat to revisit and we quite enjoyed this dram. We appreciated its desert-like quality however wouldn’t recommend leaving it for an hour or more… Best to just keep sipping and enjoying!

Good news for India – you can actually buy this whisky through the folks over at The Vault or even now in Delhi duty free! Here’s what they have to say:

This 12 Year Old has spent the last four years of its maturation in oloroso sherry casks. Caledonia is a toast to songwriter Dougie MacLean who had selected a single oloroso cask from 1997 as part of the homecoming celebrations and named it after his most famous song, ‘Caledonia’. Its enthusiastic reception led to the adoption of the whisky’s name on a permanent basis.

Tasting Notes: This full golden whisky starts off with a nose of peppermint, sugared almond, a hint of sherry, honey and spicy smoky notes. The palate is minty clean, malty and has a remarkable creamy texture for a relatively light malt. The finish is mellow and warming.

Related posts:

Other miniatures sampled:

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More Miniatures – Speyside, Edradour, Glendronach 18 + 21

My fellow Mumbai whisky aficionado and I kept up our dedication to explore the world of whiskies through miniatures…

So enthusiastically did we embrace our task that we even invited another friend to join the sipping sampling fun!

And what did we explore this time?

speyside-edradour-12-glendronach-18-21

Our session featured a Speyside appetizer and a revisit of three familiar Highland sherry friends:

Tasting notes will be coming soon, however if you missed any earlier miniatures explorations, check out our experiences here:

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Glenlivet quartet – 12, 15, 18 and 21 year

After recently revisiting the Glenlivet 21 year, I decided to pull out another post from the archives in which we sampled back-to-back blind four selections in rapid succession before they were revealed.

Intrigued, our sampling began…

  1. Light in colour. Dismissed immediately as forgettable – nothing remarkable on the nose, palate or finish. A complete ‘light weight’ to be served at a party with drinkers who do not know any better.
  2. Richer gold in colour. The nose had dried fruits like prune or apricot, sweetness maintained on the palate with a hint of spice. No whiff of peat however had a fresh forest dampness. Reasonable finish that stayed. An oddly ‘manufactured’ quality. Some promise if only could sample a cask strength version.
  3. Even deeper colour. Much sweeter than the 2nd option – notes of raisins and figs, more towards ‘brown sugar’. Smooth fruitiness on the palate. Lingering finish. Ditto on the sense of being vaguely ‘manufactured’, yet clearly preferred.
  4. Also strong amber colour. Nose not as sweet, more in the dried fruit range. Palate decidedly ‘dry’, edging to kokum with a chewy rubber-like quality, hints of clove-like spice, certainly greater complexity than the earlier samples. Lasting warm finish – chocolaty with a dash of cinnamon-spice. A few drops of water enhanced.

Glenlivet 12, 15, 18 + 21 year (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

The unveiling revealed a deliberate change to not follow an order directly correlated to age:

  • Glenlivet 12 year – All perplexed that such a sad offering garners such popularity. The marvels of marketing?
  • Glenlivet 18 year – While quite decent, terribly weak compared with other much more interesting 18 years like the old Highland Park, Hakushu, etc.
  • Glenlivet 15 year – Tried again with a dash of water revealed a slightly more complex and spicy palate closer to the 18 year. Confirmed as the favourite.
  • Glenlivet 21 year – Certainly not worthy of a 21 year price tag. Sorry folks!

The evening was salvaged by closing with the remarkable Edradour 12 year Caledonia and post dinner, a fabulous rum from Guyana – El Dorado 15 year.