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Batch 53 of Aberlour A'bunadh, as always, matured in oloroso sherry butts – big, rich and full of fruit and nut flavours.
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Most excellent. Complex, well-integrated flavours. Mellow, oily, dark fruits, perhaps burnt orange and pear. Warming. Yes, background demerara does surface significantly after 10-15min, even heads into caramel, once the significant drop to wood varnish edge occurs. Even if rushing, only add sub 20% water. Relative to more readily available, non cask-strength, standard age whiskies: Initially not way different to Glenlivet 12YO memories, but more sophisticated, more depth of character, a bit less confused than some Dalwhinnies (which though great, with smoothness and complexity the highlight, head in possibly too many directions at once). Smoother than most Islay, but still conjuring a perfectly adequate tang of the peat and sea-saltiness of the shore. These two traits, the interesting changes over time, the sophistication and demerara twist emerging, for me, keep it well clear of the neat Jack Daniels-ish/ 'cognaccy' territory. Flavour still with me some 30min later: slow taper off - does not lift away too fast/ sour on you. First review!
Terrific whisky. Massive sherry notes and just the most flavourful mouthfeel. I have tried with water but prefer without. Hoping future batches live up to this one.
I generally agree with the previous reviewer,but would differ in that I suggest it really opens up with just a few drops of water....aand ,while enkoygit at 59% cnalso enjoy the different 'levels' of dilution ,usingsoft water and givingit time.....onn a summer day even down to %0:50-though that's perhaps more of a 'Barley Wine'....... I am a sherry -and cask strength-fan and this I find a big ,generous, warming dram for almost any occasion. Thank goodness they are starting to improve again after the (IMO) poor batch 50..... being Scots I also differ in that I would call this a whisky....never a whiskey......(which would be from Ireland -or perhaps some of those US variants.)
A'bunadh is a very special whiskey due to the use of sherry only casks and it's cask strenght. Nose: It needs a few minutes to open up, otherwise you can't even smell it because of the phenols. After a few minutes gets a very nutty-fullbodied smell, with spices and even soy sauce and a lot of ohter things i can't even identify. Palate: on the palate it's dry and fruity, very much like a cognac, but it has an full body and a very complex array of flavours. Finish: the finish is rather short and drying. Overall a very complex whiskey, but too much cognac like for me. Some say that it needs water. Don't do it, it ruins the whiskey for me. But that's just my opinion.
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