Fun. Just found a sample I’d put away of another a’bunadh I had not yet written up.
What say we cuddle up with a glass of Batch 34 from a few years back and jot down a few tasting notes for posterity? Here we’re heading back into familiar waters, as long time readers will be well aware. I’ve covered several of these releases over the years (and tasted many others besides). With a’bunadh, the fact of the matter is that they’re all very similar, but somehow all very unique. I’ll continue to cover as many of these releases as I can, knowing that there are some die-hard a’bunadh fans out there.
First things first…I concede there are better sherried malts on the market. ‘Specially some of the older ones from the storied old Speyside masters. However…there are times when only a glass of a’bunadh will do. Honestly. I find myself returning to this malt time and again because the youth and bombast are simply unparalleled in terms of delivering an over-the-top fruity sherried experience. This is a whisky for the days when your taste buds don’t want to be made love to…they just want a good, hard…well…y’know where I’m going with this.
Anyway…Batch 34 is a keeper. A great progression on a theme. If I come across any more of it on the shelves, I’ll be sure to clean ’em out. Not likely to happen though, at this stage of the game.
Nose: Flawless casks. Big jammy fruits. Cherry (my favorite fruit!). None of the drier notes I’ve found in a few of the more recent batches. Chocolate cake. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Some almond or Amaretto. Pecan pie. Toasted marshmallow. A touch of eucalyptus. Some Demerara. A unique touch of smoke (from wood charring?).
Palate: Oh, wow. Like biting into a juicy handful of grapes. Chocolate shavings. Thick dark jam on hot biscuits. Great spice and a touch of woodiness. Some cherry and raspberry notes with just a touch of citric freshness. Almost a Dr. Pepper or cherry cola familiarity. Beautiful mix of sweet and tart. The palate is a little different from the nose, but just as good and just as high scoring. Great long finish.
Thoughts: This is one of the better batches of a’bunadh I’ve ever doused my taste buds with. Great release from a distillery that has successfully managed to walk the NAS tightrope. As long as the malt maintains a profile and quality of about this level I will continue to buy. Should also note…this is my Christmas dram. Anyone coming to visit around the holidays can expect one of these while we listen to Dropkick Murphys’ ‘The Season’s Upon Us’.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt