Whisky Advocate

Review: Edradour Caledonia, 12 year old

April 13th, 2010

Edradour Caledonia, 12 year old, 46%, $80
A release chosen by Douglas Maclean (and named after his song “Caledonia”). Full sherry impact, but contained—not excessive or sappy. Rich, with nutty toffee, pot-still rum, complex raisin, date, honeyed fruit, polished leather and a hint of tobacco. Good resinous grip on the finish to balance the sweetness. The flavors are nicely integrated.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 86

10 Responses to “Review: Edradour Caledonia, 12 year old”

  1. Red_Arremer says:

    There is a soapy note on this whisky, which comes in on the mid back palate and participates in the finish. It doesn’t dominate, but its presence is unmistakeable and irritating. A friend told me that the folks at Edradour put soap flakes into one of the distilling elements to cut down on foaminess– They told him that otherwise their small stills would overflow. Perhaps some basic (pH) remnant of the soap ends up in their new make.

    Aside from this I agree with your notes. It’s a shame because this is one of those whiskies where I can really taste the whole whisky minus the offending note, but of course that note is still there making the experience worse.

    • MrTH says:

      Edradour is famous (or infamous) for soapiness, but I think the soap-flake thing is a bit of urban myth. Many distilleries use anti-foaming agents without such an effect on the whisky. I don’t know where the soapiness comes from, but I don’t think it’s that. Just my own conjecture, of course.

  2. Mark says:

    Sounds like he picked one that fits his music.That’s a compliment. I might have to get one of these for the folk connection. Plus, my wife will probably quite like the whisky.

    This seems a nice move on the part of Edradour and a fitting honor for Dougie.

    Red, I saw your comment about soapiness after posting. It sounds seriously unfortunate, and that they have a problem that requires resolution. It also seems a bit careless on their part to compromise their process so. Confident of your evidence?

  3. two-bit cowboy says:

    Not possessing a palate as discerning as Red_A’s must be to my advantage. I thought this mighty complex for its 12 years, and I enjoyed it. Your review’s right on the mark, John.

  4. MrTH says:

    “Douglas”? I think only his mother calls him that, and only when he’s been naughty.

    Dougie refused to play Caledonia for some years, being, apparently, heartily sick of it. Like many artists in similar situations, he seems to have made his peace with it, having realized that he’s fortunate to have written such an iconic work, which incidentally is his life-long meal ticket. Licensing deals like this probably make him a lot more money than he ever made selling records. Good for him.

  5. Nabil Mailloux says:

    Soap is another word for fatty acid…or the stuff that often precipitates out of NCF whisky. This soapy component is probably an undesired fatty acid distilling over…might have to do with the size of the still and how they make their cut.

  6. TheMandarin says:

    I’m thinking about what Nabil just said…Has anyone found weird, undesirable notes in non-chill filtered whisky? Could chill-filtration remove a problem note?

  7. Quick question about the tasting note. Is “polished leather” referring to the smell of polish? Or a combo of that and leather?

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