Origin: Spesyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Pernod Ricard (Chivas Brothers)
Average price: € 60.00
Official website: www.aberlour.com
Water – as is well known – is a decisive element in the production of whisky. Until 1890, the Aberlour distillery was completely dependent on water from the Lour stream (‘chattering’ in Gaelic, Aberlour meaning ‘the mouth of the chattering stream’). Currently, only cooling water still comes from the stream.
Another curiosity about Aberlour concerns its casks (about twenty-seven thousand, half of them former Sherry butts, crammed into six warehouses), which for many years enjoyed the company of Ian Mitchell, employed like his grandfather, father and brother at the distillery, and his bagpipes, habitually played right inside the warehouses, in the belief that the sound waves influenced the maturation of the distillate.
Today we test this theory with Aberlour’s major, aged in ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks, proposed at 43% ABV and available in 0.50l bottles instead of the usual 0.70l.
The colour is that of molasses.
On the nose, along with the more distinctly sherried notes (black cherry in alcohol, dark chocolate, cranberries and nutmeg), a hint of apricot jam emerges, unmistakably reminiscent of Sachertorte. The olfactory profile is enriched by a fragrance reminiscent of rum chocolate, a sprinkling of pink pepper and a hint of aniseed. Over time, a more austere side stands out, with an impression of wax, a touch of orange zest and, later, a little tobacco.
On the palate, after a sweetly spicy opening of pink pepper, aromas of candied apricot and orange zest stroll arm in arm, watched over by a pleasant note of wood that grows in intensity as the minutes pass.
The finish is medium-long and still rather spicy with apricot and orange that find a lively companion in pink pepper.
The years (and perhaps the sound of the bagpipes) have given softness, depth and depth to the typical flavours of Aberlour whiskies. The result is a satisfying dram that masterfully marries balance and liveliness, and we think it would be perfect with a chocolate dessert, perhaps at the end of a romantic evening.