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Aberlour 23 yo (1989/2013, Cadenhead’s ‘Small Batch’, 54,9%)

What? Did you say “Aberlour in bourbon”? What? Did you say “bottled by one of Scotland’s most reliable independent bottlers”? Did you mean Cadenhead’s? What, in the prestigious “small batch” series? What, “23 years old”? Eh, are you sure? Did you just say the questionable phrase “tanta roba”? Let’s see if you said anything random or if you got it right.

aberlourglenlivet-23-year-old-small-batch-wm-cadenhead

N: a little bit of alcohol is detectable, at first impact, but it quickly disappears. Great olfactory richness, and an impression of a varied, almost iridescent malt. There is a vegetable vein, reminiscent of herbal infusions, bitter, even “Oil 31”, or any other herbal medicine. Then, a beautiful vanilla emerges intermittently… ‘sweet’ notes of almonds, apricots, orange marmelade; ripe banana. Strange but sumptuous, thanks also to the contribution of some ‘dirty’ notes of warehouse (would we sound crazy if we mentioned sofrito?). With water, the minerality acquires intensity, as does the citrus and the herbaceous side; buttery and ginger notes come out.

P: it was to be expected: a flavour bomb, with vanilla, yellow fruit and dried fruit in the foreground. What a compactness! Apples and oranges, with powerful malty grafts; then honey and more balsamic herbs; we want to exaggerate, it almost remind of a sugary infusion, indeed: sweetened with honey. Fudgey, but not sweetish; on the contrary, it seems well balanced and juicy. With water, the quality of the Aberlour malt comes out, with its citrus and orange notes. On the other hand, ginger gets stronger.

F: clean and richly malty; buttery at times. It replicates the palate, with long trespasses towards infused herbs.

Well, you were right. Nothing to say: Aberlour works very well, he’s hardly ever disappointed us; we usually associate distillery with sherried malts, but this little treatise on quality shows that even when the distillate meets American oak barrels the result can be satisfactory. More than satisfactory. 88/100? Come on, let’s say it.

Recommended soundtrack: EarthFrom the zodiacal light.

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