We stay in the heart of Speyside and we taste a whisky that usually fills with joy its drinkers: we’re talking about Aberlour A’bunadh, a sherry monster, cask strength, no age statement, first fill Oloroso casks only. Introduced more than a decade ago, this Aberlour is one the diamonds in their core range, matching high quality (try and give a look to whiskybase, or on whiskyfun) to a very fair price. We’re tasting today batch #18, released in 2006 and tasted for the very first time (by our respectful mouths at least) one year ago, during a meeting of the forum singlemaltwhisky.it.
N: the alcohol is there, but it ain’t too aggressive. Compared to other batches, this seems a bit more ‘mature’, and its declared youth plunges in a top quality sherried profile. You may think you’re putting your face into cherry marmalade, there’s a triumph of red fruits and berries. Burnt edges of caramel; raisins and orange peel in chocolate. There’s a deeper sherry quality though, with coffee, cigar tobacco… A great, coating complexity.
P: again it doesn’t seem too young. The impact is coherent and intense: again cherries and ripe, jammy red fruits; orange is the big surprise here. Chocolate and amaretti. There’s more freshness on the palate here, with some emerging maltiness that manages to shine, fighting with sherry without really finding a final balance – thing that remains possibly the only ‘flaw’ of more than decent palate.
F: medium length, intense, malt and red fruits, replicating the dance of the palate.
Excellent. As we wrote, it seems more deep and dense compared to newer batches. Anyway, it’s a dram that will seduce all the “big and bold sherry“ lovers out there. 87/100 is our vote; even if there’s inconsistency from batch to batch, we really suggest a sip: it’s a bottle that must always be in a proper whisky cabinet, also taking price into account; this version from 2006 might be a little expensive now, but current releases cost less than half.
Recommended soundtrack: Mastodon – High road