While at C.B. Hannegan’s in Los Gatos, CA (GREAT Single-Malt selection), I tried a glass of the Aberlour 10 year. I have had a great deal of the distillery’s a’bunadh expression, which is a vatting of Aberlour whiskies from a range of ages (10 to 15 years) and bottled at cask strength (a whopping ~60% ABV). I wanted to see how the distillery’s 10-year bottle-strength (40% ABV) expression compared.
Nose: Sherry, orange peel, tangerine sherbet.
The palate is very similar to the a’bunadh, heavy on the sherry, a little oak, some cherry and citrus, not nearly as much burn, developing with more fruit on the tongue.
Really long finish, mostly sherry, but also raspberry and hops.
Overall, I like this dram and would have wanted a bottle… except that this one doesn’t stand out against an array of similar, sherried Speysiders. I feel there are more expressive whiskies in this price range from Speyside (The Macallan for example), and since the a’bunadh gives all of these flavors and more, I can’t see a spot on my shelf for it. Unfortunately, for me, the 10-year doesn’t stand up to its cask-strength older brother, even with the price difference.