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Edradour Caledonia 12 year old review

Edradour Caledonia 12YO

Edradour Caledonia 12 year old comes from the “smallest traditional distillery” in Scotland as the distillery claims, located in Highland. They say traditional because there smaller distilleries founded since 2010. So they are the smallest non-modern distillery, founded in 1825.

Edradour distillery has an annual full capacity of 130 000 liters but they produce approximately 90 000 liters per year. Malt distilleries such as Ballindalloch, Eden Mill, Daftmill, Strathearn, Dornoch and Abhainn Dearg have a smaller capacity.

Caledonia Edradour is an un-chill filtered small batch release bottled at 46% alcohol by volume level. Matured in bourbon casks followed by an Oloroso sherry cask finish of 4-5 years. It got its name from songwriter Dougie Maclean who’s selected the single cask for this bottling. Maclean has a famous famous song called Caledonia, here’s his statement:

“I wrote Caledonia, in 1977 on a beach in Brittany, France, when I was genuinely homesick for Scotland. My life has always been based in Perthshire. For me, the location of Edradour, with its neat cluster of whitewashed buildings, traditional equipment and employment of ancient methods of making single malt whisky, combined with its state of the art bottling facility, typify Caledonia. So it is great to be joining forces with Andrew Symington and Edradour Distillery, to bring you this wonderfully rich and complex 12 year old single malt.”

Edradour Caledonia 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky Review

I have tried and kept on trying

Sang Dougie Maclean in his song, Caledonia. That’s what’s on my mind after sampling this Edradour and not liking it as much as Edradour’s previous expressions. Or did I try enough? Because the specifications for this whisky are good.

So in theory, this should be a quality single malt. Somehow I just didn’t get the best out of this small batch release. But that’s the risk when sampling small amounts. Because when you don’t have the whole bottle, you can’t test different things enough. Things like oxidation and adding water. You can read more about how to taste whisky or check out my article about choosing the right glass for whisky tasting.

Matured in:
Ex-Bourbon casks, finished in Ex-Oloroso Sherry casks
Non-chill filtered, no added colour
Colour: Reddish mahogany
ABV: 46%
Nose: Dark fruits, wax and hints of leather. Sherry influence softly brings raisins and plums. Hints of honey and nuts. Drops of water brings a nice mix of salt and dark sweetness. Salty caramel and dark fruits.
Taste: Very sweet sherry notes hit first. But crispy and bitter berry notes with orange peel and oak take over. Quite full. Addition of water really opens up this dram, bringing the dark and sweet sherry notes, although the oaky dryness and bitterness are still there.
Finish: Bitter sherry and oak. Spices and dark chocolate. Very dry finish. Even when adding few drops of water the dryness stays, even though the aromas and taste get sweeter. Seems like water adds even more dryness.
Balance: The sherry notes are not for my taste, a bit too crispy and bitter. I would’ve loved to get the same soft tones of the aromas for the palate. I was quite disappointed at the Oloroso influence being that much on the dry side.

Edradour Caledonia Scoring

Distillery: Edradour Region: Highland

Caledonia 12YO whisky package by Edradour distillery

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.

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