Thank you to /u/throzen for a sample of this.
Aberfeldy. The name makes you scratch your head, or at least, it does for me. You look at the bottles, and start to scratch your head. Are they hipsters? Or are they following the old ways?
Or do I give a shit? I mean, I’ve been thinking about it, and maybe I don’t care. Yeah, it’s annoying to meet someone who isn’t making something, and does nothing but describe themselves by what they consume. And then I realize that’s kinda me.
So I wonder, am I a horrible thing I hate? I mean… maybe? But I make these reviews. I write them. So I kinda am a hipster. And people like them.
Then I think further: There’s all these butchers, ice cream makers, and even the odd candlestick making blacksmiths that I shop at, that are making things, going back to old ways, and just happen to have large beards. So maybe I just hate some of the culture, and not the culture itself.
So does it matter that Aberfeldy is historical or just trying to do the past because they like the quality of the past.
So really the only way to judge them is to try their malt.
Thus I’m trying Aberfeldy 16 A. D. Rattray today to see what it’s like. It’s picked by A.D. Rattray, so this is cask strength, no old style packaging (though still cool packaging, please don’t change it A.D. Rattray), and just the juice, left untouched.
Let’s see how it tastes then.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Type: Ex-bourbon
Bottle: 265 of 281
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Cinnamon, honey, nectarine, floral, lime, malt cereal, red apple
Initial nose reminds me of Balvenie with the honey/malt notes. Lots of fruit to it too.
Not reminding me of Balvenie is the initial cinnamon note. Quite the interesting ex-Bourbon cask, this has given more fruit/floral notes as well as the spice. Or maybe that’s the spice from Aberfeldy. Lovely nose.
Taste: Butter, lime, sand, pear, brine, honey tea
Less complex than the nose, the initial floral and honey takes some time to come out, and has some tannin with it when it does come.
You know, like being at an orgy with a British person and they come back after a break. Always with tea.
Finish: Cloves, dry, pear, anise, floral, caramel
And we’re back with lots of cloves on the finish. Some may say too many cloves. Actually I’d say that too. Maybe not. Given time, that goes to more anise, which I also love and add to too many things I eat.
Floral is back. It’s nice. Not as strong as a Lowland, but it’s there. Again, it’s like Balvenie, though the honey is more caramel forward.
Conclusion: I personally believe this is what Balvenie 12 Doublewood should taste like. Which is weird, since there is older, has no sherry influence, and is from a different region.
Still the similarities are quite distinct. You have a floral/honey element, nice butter and fruit, and a good citrus element (just enough to help, not too much to suck up to whatever freaks buy orange chocolate).
I think it tastes young for a 16 year whisky, but that’s not a bad thing, more a marketing issue. It’s more like a good, strong younger whisky than a moderate, calm mid age whisky.
If you like honey and spice, then this is for you. Or if you’re a Balvenie fan, then it’s for you. Quite nice.
Scotch review #644, Highland review #108, Whisky Network review #1085