Edradour is a distillery that I often try to find new bottles from and I got this Signatory Edradour 9 Year Old Marsala Cask from the Whisky Shop USA in San Francisco, as it is their single cask pick. I was also really intrigued to taste this as lately I had an experiment with a Marsala seasoned barrel.
Marsala wine generally referred to as the cooking wine, is a wine with secret capabilities. From what I have experienced it can sometimes explode nutty and spicy flavors, and some other time a savory hit can happen and when thinking of the former Marsala finishes or SFTC bottles I had from Edradour this bottle got me hopeful.
One Important Thing
I mention this often, but especially this year, and specifically in the bourbon industry, this was often forgotten. Single cask picks, barrel picks are not for everyone! They are picked by a certain bar manager, retail store buyer, or a few members of whisky clubs. So you are limited to their understanding of the market and sometimes their preferences of whisky. So there is a possibility that I can dislike a bottle while you love it or vice versa.
Let's Taste It Monster!
It is really hard to appreciate this whisky on the first pour. The nose is complex, you can certainly feel it but the monstrous proof of 122.8 makes it hard to nose. Caramelized sugar is the first thing to come to mind, then cinnamon, baked fruits in an antique store. In time, earthy notes, pine honey and sugar glaze come upfront.
The palate has an intense earthy character with prunes, chocolate and grapes. The savory notes I mentioned before hit with almonds and cloves. Unfortunately, high abv overpowers delicate aromas.
The finish is again hidden behind the proof. It has a huge dry character with tons of pepper and oak spices.
ADD WATER TO YOUR WHISKY!
Until this moment, my review was pretty much standard. The whisky is young and it is at 122.8 proof. Sometimes, you need to add water to feel the delicacy from the spirit, and that is exactly what I did.
Upon adding water, the nose showed sandalwood flavors with vanilla, heather and lilac. The palate brought out raisins and Christmas Cake! The finish now offered some tobacco and balanced licorice notes. The whisky was transformed into something else!
My verdict is, this Signatory Edradour 9 Marsala Cask became a very nice whisky after the addition of water. However, if I was the one selecting this barrel, I would probably ask for an 11 or 12-year-old with a lower proof.