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Eades Islay Double Malt 2nd Edition

2 Wine + 2 Peat = meh

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@NockReview by @Nock

2nd Nov 2013

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Eades Islay Double Malt 2nd Edition
  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
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  • Brand: Eades
  • ABV: 46%

Eades2 Islay 2nd Edition

This is a Double Malt (Trade Marked) made by a Virginia distillery start up. They sourced whisky from Scotland, and Jim McEwan guided the process (So I guess he picked the wine casks to “ACE” this whisky with – his term). They used 30% Caol Ila 18yo finished in Chateau D’Yquem wine casks blended with 70% Bowmore 10yo finished in Grenache wine casks. This bottle originally went on sale in Virginia for around $75. I picked it up on clearance for only $45.

Nose: Strong Alcohol burn. There is a strong note of red wine. It feels like I get the Caol Ila peat – a dry “yellow” peat – with a hint of wood. Not terribly complex or exciting. Mostly “wine”-ish one second and then peaty then next.

Taste: Honey, wine, medium weight, with light delicate smoke and peat. Nothing off. Quite enjoyable in a peaty-wine sort of way.

Finish: Hot flash of fire that quickly dies away. Searing peat, coated in something weird . . . “red wine?” There is power here that is both peaty and dry. Interesting blend of what I like about dry red wine and peat.

Balance and Complexity: Not the most balanced. The peat seems coated in the red wine in an interesting – but strange way. They are not in a “harmonious dance” but rather an odd jerking movement between the wine and peat. I know this is a blend of an 18yo and a 10yo (both finished in wine casks) but I feel like the 18yo is totally lost. Or at the very least –the 18yo took up the average age from 10 years to about 11 and a half years. In other words, not much more complexity then the standard Caol Ila (in fact . . . a bit less).

Aesthetic: I love all the information on the label about the whisky and casks used. And the ABV at 46% is a new favorite “standard” for the industry. I also love that it is a Virginia company trying to break into the whisky world. More power to them.

Conclusion: For a $45 whisky it is right in the zone. As a $75 whisky it is WAY out of its league. I’m sorry vatting 30% Caol Ila 18yo with 70% Bowmore 10yo is not a way to make a +$70 whisky (no matter what fancy wine casks you use). I mean standard Bowmore 12yo tastes a little better then this and is around $45 or less. Further, the Bowmore Legend is under 10yo and about $30-$35. So, I really want to support Eades. I will probably buy there most recent release which is a Blended Malt of Highlands (undisclosed) distilleries that is finished in Port pipes. I had a generous pour at a bar that was quite surprising. Still, For $57 . . . I hope my bar experience wasn’t all “rose colored glasses.”

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