Whisky Advocate

Review: Eades “Double Malt” Scotch whiskies

August 5th, 2008

Eades “Double malts”
The three Eades “Double Malts” below are interesting, lively, fun-hearted whiskies, each marrying whiskies from two different distilleries and aged in two different types of casks. There’s good variety between the three. My only wish: that they tasted a bit more mature.

Eades Highland “Double Malt”, 46%, $70
A marriage of Ben Nevis (85%) and Clynelish (15%). A weighty whisky. Not as nimble as the Speyside expression below, but with flavors that linger. Rummy toffee notes, roasted nuts, earthy moss, jammy fruit, teasingly subtle black strap molasses and clove.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 83

Eades Speyside “Double Malt”, 46%, $70
An equal marriage of Longmorn and Glen Moray whiskies. Quite a fruity adventure, with zingy notes of, bramble, strawberry, rhubarb, sultana, nectarine and plum. All this fruit sits on a bed of creamy, mouth-coating, vanilla malt (the Longmorn influence is quite evident) that coats the palate long after the finish.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 82

Eades Islay “Double Malt”, 46%, $70
Consists of 60% Bowmore and 40% Caol Ila. Bold, youthful, and somewhat medicinal (as would be expected), with peat smoke, tar, pebbles on a beach, and boat docks. Additional smoked olives, exotic pepper, add intrigue, while honeyed malt notes sooths the palate and provides balance.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 82

7 Responses to “Review: Eades “Double Malt” Scotch whiskies”

  1. sam k says:

    Great concept, but “Double Malt?” Sounds like a term the SWA will have issues with! We consumers are SO easily confused. (I hope my sarcasm is evident.)

  2. John Hansell says:

    I also brought up the SWA to Chris, the brand’s owner. He did approach them and get their blessing. Hopefully Chris will explain. Check back.

  3. Dear Sam (and John),
    Yes, I spent many hours with the SWA trying to find a compromise that would satisfy them but not undermine what we are trying to create. Like many in the Scotch whisky industry, we cannot understand the logic of deleting the term ‘vatted’ from ‘whisky dictionary’. Consumers deserve to understand the difference between vatted, blended and single as designations.

    We do not see Eades Double Malt as being a blended product, we do not use grain whisky or neutral alcohol, it is a balance of 2 excellent single malts from a single distilling region that have a second maturation in hand-picked fine wine casks. The casks are carefully matched to character of the malts and the three expressions reflect the character of the individual distilleries, the distilling region and the craft and skill of Jim McEwan.

    Passing legislation that allows a complete contradiction of definitions that have been in place for generations doesn’t make sense. There is only one sector of the industry that benefits from this and it is not small artisan distilleries, bespoke independent bottlings or the consumer.

    I am pleased to say that Eades Double Malts have been well received by whisky drinkers. Even the purists, after they have tasted them, see Double Malt as a welcome opportunity for craftsmen to produce new expressions that meet a given criteria and high expectations.

    Thank you for your ‘sarcasm’, it is very well received.

    Chris Allwood
    Eades Distillery

  4. sam k says:

    Thanks very much for your clarification, Chris. This leaves one question on my mind…is “double malt” a proprietary term, controlled by Eades, or is it now yet another descriptor recognized by the SWA?

    Congratulations on your creativity and innovation with this lineup!

  5. Double Malt has become a proprietary term in America, our definition has been accepted by all Alcohol Beverage Control states and Eades whiskies are listed as Double Malts.

    We do not control the term though, we have not tried to copyright it or restrict it from use by others, indeed, we would welcome others using it if the definition remains in tact. Our difinition is:

    2 Single Malts from renowned distilleries.
    Double distilled.
    From the same distilling region.
    Matured twice, the second time in a wine cask.

    There is a great deal of room here for creativity and the distillers craft but the designation has meaning and the bar is set high.

    I am sure that the SWA would rather we didn’t do this but as I said before, we (and a host of distilleries and boutique bottlers) do not agree with what they are doing or the fact that the narrow interests of the ‘less than impartial’ leadership are very well served by the new legislation,, whilst many great whiskies are having to wear a label that undermines their value.

  6. sam k says:

    Agreed, and thanks for the response. “Blended” just sends a shudder down my spine, on either side of the pond!

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