Origin: Spesyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry Oloroso
Added coloring: No
Owner: Pernod Ricard (Chivas Brothers)
Average price: € 69.00
Official website: www.aberlour.com
If you happen to be in Scotland, in Speyside, driving along the A95 on the east bank of the River Spey, you may come across a reception from 1890 signposting the Aberlour distillery. This is located, somewhat hidden, where the Lour, which is little more than a stream, flows into the Spey.
Founded in 1825 by James Gordon and Peter Weir and rebuilt after fires in 1879 and 1898, Aberlour boasts a production of almost four million litres a year, and a limited core range but one of absolute quality.
In addition to the basic 12 year old, there is a 16 year old and an 18 year old, all three double casks, i.e. matured in both ex-Bourbon American oak casks and ex-Sherry Oloroso casks. And the A’bunadh (in Gaelic “the origin”), the subject of today’s review: a single malt that includes Aberlour from just under 10 years old to over 15, blended together, all matured in Sherry Oloroso, as declared on the label, with a preference – according to the well-informed – for the second fill (second fill of whisky after having hosted the Sherry).
Aberlour A’bunadh is always bottled cask strength, without any chillfiltration, and is released in limited but continuous batches. The one under review is number 60, with an alcohol content of 60.3% ABV.
The colour is a beautiful amber.
On the nose, the alcoholic note is strong but not overpowering, with a definite impression of mulled wine (cinnamon and cloves on the shields). The spectrum of aromas is typical of full Sherry maturation: black cherry, sultanas and extra dark chocolate, but with an extra kick.
On the palate, too, pressure from alcohol is not exaggerated, giving substance, in the context of a muscular but not overbearing profile, to an aromatic palette of great seduction: more black cherry, chocolate and sultanas. With a few drops of water, it’s the spices that stand up.
The finish is long and glorious, with black cherry.
A sherried bomb you won’t forget: superbly charged, miraculously balanced and incredibly deep.
A winter whisky that warms the throat and the heart.