Friday, September 30, 2011

Edradour 10 year

Appearance: amber and copper and maple syrup. Golden glints along the edges.

Nose: dried grass and straw. Husked grains. Orange rind and tangelo zest. Cedar planks underneath. Caramelized apple skins with a touch of char along the edges. Banana peel and toasted coconut.

Body: swirls thick with a long lingering blanket. Sticky lips after each sup and swallow. Dry and parched in the middle.

Palate: just as the nose implied, yet bigger and bolder with some seriously pleasant heat in the back – like a flame kissing the back of my throat. Full bodied, sticky, and lightest along the edges. Essence of the harvest – husked grains yet to be separated, dried grass and straw ready to be baled. Red apple crisps. Bananas flambĂ©ed in caramel above an open flame. Lovely.

Finish: hot and fast like a vision of kilted times, then long and lingering. Wood and straw and grass all come together over an open flame without singing. Nondescript spicy heat.

While I have never been to Edradour myself personally, during my enjoyable tenure at Great Spirits of Vero Beach, FL I had the pleasure of soaking in the fascinating story of one couple’s visit to this itsy bitsy teensy weensy distillery in Pertshire, Scotland. Not just teensy weensy, Edradour is the last traditional farm distillery making it an honest marvel of tradition. Truly a family operation, so small is this distillery and so good is the will and humanity of Scotland that upon arriving, a minor introduction occurs before one is set off on their own to explore the beauteous surroundings: a harmonious marriage of man, nature, and a little bit of magic. Some might call it “God is good” and some might call it “Water of life”. Maybe tis a little of both…

As the smallest farm distillery in Scotland, Edradour is a treasure of not just Scotland but of all that once was good and can be good again ~ Home. Earth. Humility. Humanity. Joy. Vision. With each hand-selected oak cask set to age the hand-selected spirit, machines need not apply, from harvest to bottling, Edradour eventually fills twelve casks for a total of 600 gallons of hand-selected artisanal love. Within 10 years time, the whisky connoisseur is blessed with 600 delicious gallons of spirit ready for enjoyment.

Whose? Yours, mine, and the gents of Edradour herself.

There’s just something about holding a glass of Edradour 10 year up to one’s eyes to take in the grandeur of 150+ years of small batch beauty that soothes the soul and brings tears to one's eye. Traditions are both grand and humble, especially in a time fraught with the fast, the furious, and the forgettable. I’d like to think that somewhere along the time line I too can contribute something more than just a passing fancy, a vacant whim, a shallow boast upon this world with a little help from my Love and from friends. With the couple’s personal story resonating in my heart, each sip was better than the last and, even if for a moment temporary, it was I exploring the distillery grounds at my leisure. Fantasia though it was, I know without a doubt that someday it will be very real footsteps my Love and I leave in our own curious journey. But until then...

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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