Type of whisk(e)y – Whisky (scotch).
How long has the whisk[e]y bottle been open? – Over 6 months
Introduction to the whisk[e]y (casks used, distillery, is it a special release etc) – Dailuaine is a malt almost only found in the form of either Johnnie Walker Blends or independent bottling’s such as G&M, Douglas Laing or this from James Eadie. The only ‘official’ bottling is part of the Flora and Fauna range from Diageo at the age of 16 years with by all accounts a bucket load of our lamented E150 caramel colouring. The distillery itself is one I first encountered when doing research for my dissertation proposal at university due to them being one of the early adopters of energy and resource efficient practices. Something that is appropriate when the name comes from Gaelic meaning green valley!
This on the other hand is about the same colour as that official bottling but at half the age, another whisky proving that if the giants would just buy decent casks or accept cask variation, they can get the colour they want.
Bottled at 46% after 8 years maturing onsite (James Eadie don’t have their own warehouse akin to that of Gordon and MacPhail’s holy grail in Elgin). Matured in 3 first fill ex bourbon barrels producing 1373 bottles. This was the second James Eadie Bottling I would pick up (the first being an Aultmore) and I have come to acquire 7 of these from a variety of distilleries and have also acquired the James Eadie Trademark X blend. When I do a review and tasting notes for that I will explain in depth the history behind James Eadie and how I came by this knowledge.
As with many of my malts, this was acquired from the good people at Luvians in Fife. Cupar or St Andrews, honestly I love track of which whiskies are from which!
Appearance – A clear honey golden colour with a thick appearance as it clings to the side of my glen cairn eventually forming thick tears down the glass.
Nose – You do get a lot of ethanol on this one, my left nostril for some reason confusing the ethanol and spice as the two intertwine and fight each other. Some orchard fruits, hinting at some orange and maybe red apples, just the general feeling of an orchard or wooded area on a dew covered morning or damp day.
When I breathe in my nose with my mouth open there is a distinct buttery smell coming through. Essentially we are knocking on the door of marmalade and butter layered onto toast.
Palate – There’s the butter and marmalade. Positively delightful and lively straight off the bat and not to be criticised at all.
It is complex so picking out a huge number of individual flavours isn’t straightforward but it remains delightful to drink.
Second time, there’s the ethanol again fighting with the spice.
Finish – Tossing and turning with the spice and ethanol right to the bitter end and then it opens up to a creamy feeling, fruity tasting joy. Thing Fruitella when you would smash loads into one and stuff them into your mouth as your grandparents fought over who’s fault that was.
The finish is possibly the bit that is most enjoyable and makes you want to go back for more. Inspite of all the spice and ethanol, you get this delightful creamy, fruity and smooth dram.
Overall thoughts – At under £40 virtually all of the James Eadie small batch bottling’s are magnificent. They tend to be 10 years old or less and knock it out the park in terms of value for money.
This particular one is an excellent example of a distillery we don’t really get enough of and one that I cannot fault. All I would perhaps say is that it would be best appreciated by the more experienced palate, at times it was like watching Ali vs Liston in your mouth with ethanol fruits and spice going at it. Didn’t last long but christ you know all about it!
Many thanks to Jack, @scotchjak (Twitter) for submitting his tasting notes, both comprehensive and informative, and you can follow him below.Follow @scotchjak