This Aberlour is aged in two separate cask types: “Traditional Oak” which is a funny way of saying ex-bourbon American Oak casks, and ex-Sherry casks. These are aged for 12 years and then married together in undisclosed proportions before bottling at the legal minimum 40% ABV. Interestingly, all of Aberlour’s official lineup is now labelled as a “Double Cask” whisky with the exception of a’bunadh. This may be their way of dealing with the expanding crisis of…
The whisky is aged in some inscrutable combination of European and American oak casks, some of which held sherry at one time. The “two types” of American Oak used could refer refill and first-fill, or it could mean ex-bourbon American oak casks that have been “seasoned” by sloshing some re-used sherry around in them. The whisky is bottled without added coloring or chill filtration.
This bottle of Batch 57 caught my eye during my last trip to my favorite liquor store, and reminded me that I haven’t reviewed a batch of A’Bunadh in awhile. Checking past posts I see that I’ve missed 15 (!) prior batches, as my last review was Batch 41. At a resounding 60.7% ABV, this is also the strongest A’Bunadh I’ve tried. As always, this is aged exclusively in Spanish oloroso sherry casks, and bottled at cask strength with no chill filtration.
Not as much of a sherry bomb as previous batches, but more complex and brooding. Still burns like sweet, sweet fire. The price is not as approachable as days gone by, but $60 for a fantastic sherried cask-strength whisky is still not a bad deal. I continue to recommend this malt highly.
Whisky enthusiasts are easy to buy for. Most of us are happy to try a new and unfamiliar Scotch, and will be enthused to drain the bottle even if it doesn’t become a new favorite. Here are my top 10 suggestions for giving whisky gifts in 2011.
Heady aroma. Blackberry syrup. Definite sherry character, with overtones of antique wood, sap, stewed dark fruits, maple sugar candies, and a hint of candied orange peel or orange liqueur.
When your liquor cabinet is bursting at the seams, maybe consider winnowing your bottle count down by “covering the bases” of all the major types of malt whisky, and keeping just one bottle in each category: Peated, Sherried, Lowlander, Wine Finish, Talisker (Skye), Cask Strength, Heathery, World (Irish).
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.
Scotch enthusiasts are easy to buy for. Most of us are happy to try a new and unfamiliar Scotch, and will be enthused to drain the bottle even if it doesn’t become a new favorite. Here are my top 10 suggestions for giving Scotch gifts this year.
The attack is fiery, unyielding. The body is syrupy and rich, coating your mouth like napalm. As it resolves on your palate, though, it opens up with fruit and oak, rich plum, red apple, caramel, treacle, toffee, and red pepper. Intense and intensely flavorful.