Monday, June 30, 2008
Aberlour 12yo, Double Cask Matured
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Easily one of the best value Speyside malts around, Aberlour is an under-celebrated whisky. As the malt that brought a French company (the first) into the world of Scotch whisky (in 1975), Aberlour has a strong foothold in France but remains an undiscovered drop to many.
Founded in 1879, Aberlour was a replacement of sorts for a distillery that was housed just up the river Lour, a tributary of the Spey. Walkers famous shortbread was and is made in the nearby town of the same name. Pretty cute place, too.
The core range has a focus on the sherried side of things with several special local expressions, bottlings available only in certain markets. This adds to its esoteric status, but word of mouth (and a conscious effort by parent company Pernod Ricard) could bring Aberlour into the realm of the household malt whisky names.
This double-matured version is made in a very similar fashion to that of The Balvenie Doublewood: 10+ years in "traditional oak", barrels that held something else once upon a time (ie. 2nd or 3rd fill) and then 'finished' in sherry butts. A winning recipe, to be fair.
For all Aberlours had on the mission, click HERE.
Big sherry notes immediately noticeable. Dry sherry, very sweet wine, Manischewitz. Caramel, cardboard, almonds, crabapples, ladyfingers, a some boozy freshness like the smell of Mojito or an open bottle of certain perfumes.
Shimmering with sherry, bright. Lots of raisins, ripe nectarines, and maybe some smoke? Candied finish with an oakiness that dries quickly.
I needed to let this mellow a bit in the glass before drinking it. It was VERY punchy with dry sherry. After some time the raisiny sweetness had mellowed and merged with the oakiness to make it more approachable. Friends enjoyed this drop much more than I did and that is what makes this wide world of whisky so exciting. It is a sharp whisky, which isn't necessarily a bad thing; even the producers use the adjective to describe this malt on their website.
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