Thursday, September 16, 2021

Edradour, Glen Garioch, Benromach, Waterford Gaia

Edradour 10, Signatory, Cask #364, 46%
An independent bottling of Edradour by Signatory, with a fairly standard 46% abv… While this isn’t from same series as Royal Brackla (reviewed here: https://www.aerin.or … y:entry210507-201920) it’s certainly seems to be from the same general direction. Lets get it out of the way… it’s a sherry bomb… mostly in a good way. The nose is wood shop varnish and sweet whiffs of charred caramel or burnt sugar (this is unpeated)… Palate is light sweet tobacco, yet again burnt sugar caramel. Mellow bitter-sweet chocolate and warming with sherry and malt. The aftertaste is long with more varnish sherry sticking around the palate and a little bit of tobacco. Quite delicious and much much better balanced vs Brackla. This does not disappoint. It may not mind-blowing but for a solid single malt and an Edradour checkbox… it’s well worth a pour and a sip.
Score: B+

Glen Garioch 10, Old Particular K&L SP, 59.2%
A bourbon-cask aged, Glen Garioch from Old Particular, by way of K&L. Interestingly, Glen Garioch 15 was one of my first reviews: https://www.aerin.or … y:entry190108-083714, though that one was Distillery/Original Bottling, vs an Independent. Nose is honeycomb with apricots and vanilla. A reasonably prominent amount of alcohol smacks me in the face since it doesn’t have anything to hide behind here. The palate is mouth-coating, velvety and oh so delicious. Little bit salty barley tea, anice, sweet vanilla-oak, and what a malty monster. The aftertaste is long, peppery with little bit bitter citrus and a dash of dustiness. Quite tasty overall. Value: Ummm it was $55… yah it’s good deal.
Score: B+

Benromach 10, 43%
This is the pre-redesign distillery bottling of a 10 year old malt. It’s also lightly peated, and considering I’m not huge peat fan let’s see how it goes. Malt, sherry and a solid bit of iodine on the nose with peat integrating nicely with that salty note. The palate is slightly off from the nose. More charcoal, salinity and a little bit of peat with not as much of a sherry sweetness of what nose would suggest. Nuts, brown sugar. Slightly bourbon-like with malt vs corn notes of course, it drinks surprisingly hotter than its proof. The aftertaste is coffee, burnt sugar, perhaps grilled (to the point of charring) fruits; it sticks around for a while but neither impresses nor disappoints. Yet again reminds me somewhat of a decent bourbon with that charcoal and roasted nut notes. Overall… it’s one of the weird ones that makes me think more of an American whiskey rather than a scotch. I’m glad I’ve tried it though, and while I’m not floored by its flavors, it’s a solid drinker that could be a bargain crowd pleaser for general whiskey drinkers and would appeal to both Bourbon and Scotch sides of the table. Value is fairly decent for the flavor levels at circa $50.
Score: B-

Waterford Organic Gaia 1.1, Irish Single Malt; 50%
I cannot quite talk about Waterford without briefly talking about terroir… but since others write better than me… I’ll summarize… Terroir is basically the area and methods of production that gives the product its specific qualities of taste smell etc… Typical terroir when disclosed is soil, elevation or region based, but Waterford takes it to some extreme levels with their transparency to nearly the point of silliness. Read this for more details: https://www.whiskymo … ng-the-whisky-game/
So back to the Gaia 1.1… It is an Irish single malt whiskey grown and produced locally and it comes in a fairly cool glass bottle with glass stopper. So their marketing team is on point here. Let’s hope the contents measure and and dig in. On the nose thick rick malt and vanilla cookies and lemon custard and a tiny bit of ammonia sharpness. Slightly oily and mouth-coating on the palate, more vanilla custard with cloves and nutmeg not very sweet, but more of a mellow yet nutty spiciness covered by oak and malt, slight salinity too. Long long aftertaste with citrus, vanilla and sichuan peppers. I really wish it was a little older than 4 years on average as there’s not a whole lot of secondary flavors that had a chance to develop. Really lovely overall and I quite appreciate the above and beyond on transparency… Seriously they got ‘Sounds of the countryside’ and every single barrel used… It’s nuts. Value: This is MSRP circa $100 and I’d say it’s worth it for the story but not when consumed blindly or at a bar… So that pushes it towards ‘average value’. As per my guidelines, price is not factored into score.
https://beta.waterfo … ir/organic-gaia-1-1/
Score: B

Scoring Breakdown: https://www.aerin.or … age=scores_breakdown