Edradour Natural Cask Strength

For this week’s “From the Shelves” review I didn’t pick a dram from the shelves of Café Zilt myself, instead a lovely couple that visited the bar pointed it out to me for a wee review. As it turns out this is one of their favourite drams and they tipped me that given the fact that this Edradour Natural Cask Strength is a real sherry bomb, it would make for a perfect review right around the holiday season.

Now I’m a huge fan of these Edradour bottlings myself as well, though I will add here that there are big jumps flavourwise, but also stats wise, depending on which edition you’ll get. Behind the bar of Zilt we currently have a 2005 sherry edition, bottled at 50,4%. From that same year there’s also a release bottled at 60,6% with the colour of cola. As you can imagine, it will taste vastly different from this dram.

All that having been said though, I’ve never had an edition I didn’t like. Which means I should be in for a treat with today’s review. Let’s go find out!

These “From the Shelves” reviews will be posted on my own blog and on the blog from Café Zilt, but aside from that cooperation I get no compensation for my blogs and my reviews will always remain independent and unbiased.

Tasting Notes: Edradour Natural Cask Strength 2005

ABV: 50,4% (100,8 proof)

Age: 13 years old

Distillery: Edradour Distillery

Category: Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Chill-Filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Amarena cherries, caramelised apricots, rum raisins, roasted figs with honey. Ooh yes, this is definitely a dram suitable for the holiday season! It’s not just fruit though, I’m also picking up on notes of amaretti cookies and a whiff of steaming porridge. Luscious, sweet, complex, yet balanced despite all its intensity. Water brings forth some citrus influences, with predominantly kumquats coming to mind.

The flavours on the palate are undoubtedly intense. The first thing that strikes me is marmite and tannins. As if you’d just smeared it on tree bark instead of a slice of bread. The mouthfeel of this dram is hefty and beyond syrupy, I’d go so far as to choose “sticky” as descriptor. The cherries turn from Amarena to Maraschino cherries and are paired with plum marmalade. Water dials down the intensity a little bit and it adds some candied orange peel to the mix.

The finish is much shorter than I anticipated from the intensity of flavours I was finding on the palate. It’s the syrupy sweetness that lingers most, reminiscent of dipping a finger in a jar of Maraschino cherries to taste the syrup itself. Some tannins remain as well, of which (once again) tree bark would be my descriptor of choice. A few drops of water ramp up both the length and the intensity of the finish. Loads and loads of candied fruits are available to discern this time around.

This whisky is perfectly fine as is, but just a few drops of water truly bring it alive. Without the water it can also be perceived as a bit intense on the palate by some, but even if you appreciate the intensity the added flavours make adding water worth it either way.

This is a perfect dram for the holiday season and something I’d love to sip on after a cold walk on a winter’s day. This Edradour Natural Cask Strength will warm your right up!

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