Most malt heads are familiar with Aberlour Distillery due to it’s heavily popular A’bunadh series (58 batches and counting) as they (and I) love a good sherrybomb. But we shouldn’t forget there are other whiskies in the line-up ranging from 12 Year Old to 18 Year Old and bottled at 40% or 43%.
But there’s an interesting variant to the 12 Year Old, one non chill-filtered and bottled at 48%, priced very similarly to the standard 40% and chill-filtered.
Nose: Rich and full, malt and strong dried fruit, figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, cookie dough, fresh sweet berries juice. Then getting soaked raisins, a lot of dark chocolate, coffee grounds, still keeping the honey and light fruitiness in the background for balance.
Palate: Sweet dried fruit with extra sweet caramel, toffee, strong baking spices, nutmeg and sour sweet forest berries, red fruit, honey, malt and gentle oak. After a while strong chocolate and darker fruitiness, soaked raisins and coffee.
Finish: Medium length, lingering sweet dried fruit, chocolate!, oak spices and a bit of coffee grounds.
Thoughts: What a pleasant surprise! The extra 8% and ditching the chill filtering really transforms this whisky into a rich and flavorful version of the standard one at 40% with chill filtration. This is a good and balanced sherried whisky and I’d be happy to have in my cabinet as a daily dram for this price. And even better, for whisky novices it’s a good stepping stone towards A’bunadh, a win win situation.