Showing posts with label Edradour The Fairy Flag. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edradour The Fairy Flag. Show all posts

Edradour The Fairy Flag Review

“Sherry Christmas” 

Whisky Review # 671

Country: Scotland
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Edradour The Fairy Flag am Bratach Sith
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 15 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: Bourbon casks with Sherry Finish   
Chill Filtration: No     
Price Range: On average US$ 95 (December 2017). 
Buying Advice: 😔 At this price level go for Glendronach or Aberlour! 

Colour: Mahogany/Brown - Quite Dark (Natural Colour)

Nose: Powerful and Dark Sherry Notes including some Sulphur and Rubber that diminish over time. It's essential to give the Fairy Flag enough time in the glass before you start Nosing. Christmas is in the Air with Rum Soaked Raisins, Figs, Sultanas, Apricot, Dates, Mulled Red Wine and Christmas Spices. I also find Toasted Cereals, Buttered Toast, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Vanilla, Blackberry, Port Wine, Caramel, Lemon Peel, Orange Flavoured Dark Chocolate, Charred Oak and traces of Tea, Polished Leather and Tobacco. It's quite Sweet, a little Heavy and mildly Herbal. The Sherry cask influence is strong. It's not quite my style but it's not bad.   

Palate: Bitter-Sweet with Dusty Wine Cellar, Christmas Cake, Dried Fruits (See Nose), Blackberry, Raspberry, Salted Caramel, Toffee, Orange - and Grapefruit, Dark Chocolate, Toasted Cereals, Sour Apples, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Oak, Menthol, Sulphur, Tobacco, Polished Leather and Port Wine.

Finish: Middle-Long, Sweet, Malty and Nutty. Dry and slightly Bitter and Sour towards the end. The Sherry cask influence remains strong and I find Toasted Cereals, Dried Fruit (See Nose), Caramel, Treacle, Brown Sugar, Nuts, Dark Chocolate, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Perfumed Soap, Herbal Tea, Mint, Pepper, Nutmeg, Charred Oak, Cherry- Flavoured Cough Syrup, Sulphur and Acetone.       

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that works quite well. The Fairy Flag gets less Dirty & Dusty and more Nutty. You should certainly experiment with a few drops here.  

Rating: 83      

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 20.5

General Remarks:

🏣   The Distillery and Today's Whisky:

The name Edradour was first mentioned in 1837 but the first Single Malt was  released in 1986. The success story started in 2002 when Andrew Symington bought the distillery from Signatory. Edradour was Scotland's smallest working distillery for many years but today there are more than 10 smaller distilleries. At the moment Edradour produces around 130.000 litres of which around 26.000 are heavily peated. The core range consists of  the 10, the 12 Caledonia, the 14 CS Sherry and the 10 CS Bourbon. We visited the distillery in 2014. The fact that it is located close to Pitlochry means that lots of visitors are in fact tourists who participate in organized trips. The place was crowded and there was a very commercial feel to it that I didn't care for. A pity, because the Distillery itself as well as the surroundings are very picturesque.   

The Fairy Flag 15 Years was released in 2015 to mark the release of a film that carries the same name and was made by Rory Mhor Nicoll and Peter Columbia. It tells the story of an epic romance between the Clan Chief of the MacLeod's and the mysterious Fairy maiden, said to have almost magical qualities. In the meantime the Fairy Flag has been discontinued. I bought a miniature bottle in a Cigar/Whisky shop in Heidelberg, Germany. When I opened the package today I noticed that around 15% of the contents have evaporated.

🍷  The Spirit 

The Edradour distillery operates 1 pair of stills. The Lyne arms point downwards. The spirit is medium-bodied, Sweet, Malty, Nutty and Perfume-like. The water for this Farm Distillery is sourced from springs on Moulin Moor.

🌲  The Wood:

The Fairy Flag matured in Bourbon casks for 8 years before being transferred to fresh Ex-Oloroso Sherry casks where it matured another 7 years.

Drinking Experience: Interesting

ConclusionI must admit that Edradour is not one of my favourite distilleries. I find their expressions a bit "unfinished", rough and dirty. And there are always some off-notes to be found. Having said that, the Fairy Flag is certainly not a bad Single Malt despite its flaws. Because it has some character as well. If you are into Sherry Bombs, this Edradour would serve you well except for the fact that it's more expensive than some of its direct competitors like Glendronach, Glenfarclas and Aberlour. So despite the fact that I have some sympathy for the Fairy Flag I can't really recommend this expression as it's too expensive. That might well be the reason it has been discontinued in the meantime.

Jan van den Ende                                                              December 26, 2017

All Pictures were taken during our Visit in May 2014