Aberlour distillery doesn’t have a wide range of official releases. There’s the 12 year old entry level and the 15 year old playing the role of the older sibling. But there’s also the uber successful a’bunadh release, there’s no age statement but it’s punchy at cask strength and is a full blown sherry bomb.
Unfortunately there’s no matured sherry bomb in their line up, but The Whisky Exchange came to the rescue with a new and exclusive 16yo Aberlour from a first-fill sherry cask bottled at cask strength of 53.5%.
Aberlour 16 Year Old Single Cask #4738 TWE Exclusive (53.5%, £99.95)
Nose: Lovely sherried nose with soaked raisins, red berries and dried fruit. Bold cinnamon, demerara sugar, heavy and creamy. After a few minutes in the glass, whiffs of fresh ripe sour plums and vanilla. A few drops of water makes it lighter and fresher, I could even say it smells sweeter, there’s a lot more vanilla with added sweet fresh red fruit, berries and milk chocolate.
Palate: Keeping with the rich sherried theme, sweet dried fruit, sour berries, bucketful of cinnamon and nutmeg, praline chocolate, coffee bitterness. With water it’s lighter and fruity but still carries a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness, oak and coffee bitterness.
Finish: Medium long finish, spicy (yes, again nutmeg and cinnamon), residues of dark chocolate and coffee, old traces of cherries and with water there’s added gentle bitterness.
Thoughts: This is a a rich, balanced and smooth sherry bomb. It works excellently with or without water so add water depending on your mood (if you want to go lighter). I think we can safely say this could masquerade as a well matured and balanced a’bunadh. I think it would be awesome if Aberlour would release an a’bunadh with 15+ age statement on it, but since such an expression doesn’t exists, we’ll have to ‘suffer’ with this lovely single cask treat.
(Official sample provided by The Whisky Exchange)