Tasting Notes from Whiskyfun (Serge Valentin)
The first Ballechin was matured in Burgundy casks, which worked quite well I think. This time it’s Madeira and I think Madeira works much better than plain red wine. Let’s see...
Colour: pale gold.
Nose: it’s well a Ballechin, with the trademark farminess that spans from whiffs of horse dung (nothing wrong!) to wet hay through wet dog and ‘clean’ manure. The peat isn’t assaulting at all, it already melted into the whole. The wine is quite present but it’s not oddly fruity or anything like that, it’s almost like if it had given additional smokiness. Herbal tea and various dried flowers. Maybe more compact and more straightforward than Ballechin #1, a little less extravagant.
Mouth: a little sweeter and rounder now, but the farminess is all there. Peaty but not really smoky, almondy, quite vegetal (rocket salad, olive oil), also on green tea and liquorice sticks, oatcakes, porridge... Quite some pepper as well, paprika, bitter caramel... The wine lets the spirit speak a little more than in the #1, which makes the whole probably more austere but also more ‘natural’.
Finish: rather long, still very farmy and grassy, with a kind of bitterness that I like (walnut skins and so on). In short, this one lost a bit of the #1’s extravagance and sexiness but gained class and ‘Scottish wildness’ (I’m not saying wild Scotland isn’t sexy! Oh well...) Up from 85 to 86 points
as far as I’m concerned.