Our readers know that Aberlour is one of the Speyside distilleries that we appreciate the most for its constancy over time, for the average, always high quality of its bottling, for the general solidity of the distillate – and please don’t tell us that this is a synesthesia! In any case: Pino Perrone, undisputed whisky guru and walking encyclopedia, priest of the Roman temple of Whisky & Co, great music lover, bibliophile collector and manager of his dog Octomore, provided us with a sample of Aberlour “Antique”, a NAS put on the duty free market in early 2000s. We thank Pino and put our noses and jaws on the glass.
N: a double-sided dram, which combines a brazenly drinkable and juicy side with something deeper and more elegant. Let’s explain: on one side we have inviting ripe peaches, strawberry jam, red apples and more generally a sensation of sugar and caramelized peanuts, honey and almond paste. On the other hand, however, it seems to deliver on its name – Antique -, showing notes of figs and dried dates, old paper (but without an ounce of moisture), fragrant spices (have you ever smelled the aromatic Eritrean paper?). Smooth and classy.
P: after such a loaded nose, expectations are high. Immediately you get that very easy fruity sensation of peaches, apples and red fruit, together with a nice hint of cereal. Compared to the nose, however, new suggestions emerge, with lots of toasted wood, dark chocolate and dried fruit. Tea in infusion.
F: still a lot of wood and those particular varieties of honey, a bit bitter. Quite long.
Let’s start from the rate, 86/100, for a wonderfully ‘normal’ whisky that “tastes like whisky”, not tempted by the chimeras of the modern experimental avant-garde, without flashes but above all without defects. A whisky deeply rooted in the distillery’s tradition, as only Aberlour can produce. We already know – thanks to the A’Bunadh series – that the distillery is also good with NAS, but we like to have further confirmation with this bottling from about fifteen years ago.
Recommended soundtrack: Marijata – I walk alone.