It was 1998 when in Aberlour, one of Speyside’s top distilleries, they had a pretty good idea: to create a whisky with no declared age, certainly young – but not an excuse to sell something modest or still immature at a high price: at cask strenght. The A’bunadh (from the Gaelic “origin”) would have been an extremely marked whiskey (only ex sherry Oloroso casks), produced in small batches (today more than 60), and bottled naked, straight from the cask (uncoloured, unchillfiltered, full proof). The result? An extreme but yet sincere and enjoyable whisky. Let’s see if this batch confirms the fame…
N: the impact is aggressive: the alcohol definitely does not hide, comme d’habitude … Vinyl notes, like paint, in the foreground. Fresh wood, new furniture, even a herbaceous scent that points directly to the distillate. Behind, after a few minutes comes the croissant and fruity side of Aberlour: red fruit brioche. Notes of cola, chinotto. Then we find an unexpected note of confetti, almond paste. Raisins.
P: More convincing than the nose. Very juicy fruit, candied orange, still very citrusy. We find some herbaceous notes again, almost balsamic, and some spices. Obviously there are red fruits, cherries, a lot of raisins (and candied ones: do you know Milano’s “panettone”?). With water it gets more juicy and enjoyable, we can honestly say that water improves it.
F: the first note is very herbaceous, then chocolate and cherry take over.
We can say that we have tasted a few batches of A’bunadh over the years and the series, 20 years after its birth, does not seem to show any sign of aging. Also, it is not betraying the principles that inspired it, despite the diversity of the various batches. This batch 60 is perhaps not the best one we ever drunk, the nose is very different from the palate, but it remains on good levels of pleasure, that we gladly translate into a 86/100.
Sottofondo musicale consigliato: College & Electric Youth – A Real Hero.