Aberlour a’bunadh is consistently listed in whisky lovers’ ‘top ten’ lists (which are more often that not comprised of twenty or thirty whiskies), so it’s not surprising I get a lot of requests to review more of the batch releases of this expression.
The simple fact of the matter is that this is damn good whisky, and fairly consistent in terms of quality, if not exact flavour profile. Batch variation is substantial with this dram, and if I’m to be dead honest, that’s a good thing. Keeps it interesting and shows that there is still some blender’s art happening here, and that these aren’t simply being batched to recipe-like homogeneity. There’s something intrinsically pure about these releases that wins me over.
As a rule with a’bunadh, one can expect a thick and monolithic sherry monster, redolent in spices, dried fruits and sweetness. Usually some leather and tobacco as well. I’ll try to continue knocking out a few more batches here on the site with a bit more regularity in order to show the nuances between releases. To date…Batch 28 holds a spot in my heart as a favorite. That was the only release I squirrelled away a couple extra of. This is a whisky that I simply can’t imagine anyone not appreciating. More faithful than ol’ Trigger, this is one of my sidekicks.
Batch 36 here, while not my favorite a’bunadh, is still certainly a great dram and better than almost anything in its price range.
By the way…I do take exception to the ignorance on the label (which you can see in the picture above), referring to ‘single cask’. These batches are in no way ‘single cask’. Oh well. Nitpicking now.
Nose: Rummy raisin and chocolate. Jam covered straw and hay. Cinnamon raisin toast and bread dough. Dried fruits, of course, but also some macerated berry notes…with pepper. Creamy sherry and a touch of eucalyptus. Light florals too. Nice clean casks. Nary a bad butt to be found in this vatting.
Palate: Thick and syrupy. Cough syrup too. Nice fruit notes of plum, blackberry and…dunno…something bold and jammy. Fudge with black cherry in it. A little bit of pear or apple skin. Huge mouthfeel. Thick and chewy as hell. Awesome, awesome mouthful of whisky.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt