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- Brand: Abbey Whiskey
- ABV: 40%
I'd just woken up and was checking my facebook on my mobile when I see in my news feed this competition that Abbey Whisky is putting on for a free chance to win some a sample of their Secret Casks whisky. I also see that this competition ends in like 2 hours.
I hurriedly enter into the competition and then continue to get ready to go to work. A couple hours later I check Facebook when I go onto my morning break and the first thing I see is my name has been drawn to win the free whisky.
No freaking way!
I then send Abbey Whisky my details where I'm informed that the bottle they're going to be sending me is a sample of their 40 yr old Secret Casks.
This should hopefully be good.
I say hopefully because I've had several 30+ yr old whiskies before. And I've noticed a common problem among them. Too much oak. Way too much oak.
I keep this concern to myself, especially because the gentlemen who is sending me my free whisky that this is one CRACKING dram.
The Australian Postal service manages to send my sample to Melbourne which is odd because I live in Perth. When I inform Abbey Whisky they tell me they'll get right on it.
I come home the next day to find my whisky has arrived!!
But again my nerves hit. TOO MUCH OAK.
I open the package and looking back at me in a pile of straw is this cute little sample bottle with a wax seal that is perfect. This bottle has a label that states it is indeed 40 yrs old. I hear a voice whisper oak in the back of my mind.
Tonight just 2 days later I crack open this dram and pour it into my glencairn.
The moment that the liquid hits the air I smell sweetness, like molasses sugar. And hints of oak.
I immediately start salivating. And this is before I've nosed my whisky.
My wife and I sit down to dinner. Asian. We're watching The Bourne Ultimatum.
I nose my glencairn.
Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three.
I'm no longer watching Bourne tear people apart left and right on screen.
I'm with Willy Wonka (1971 Baby!) as they walk into the candy room. I grow calm. And my nose takes over.
"If you wanna view paradise then look around and view it"
The smell is pure sweetness. Sugar, I think of molasses, my wife says cane. Hints of oak. This is Speyside at it's finest.
I am literally smelling this lovely little dram for 20 minutes before I take a sip. This nose is sucking me in with it's sweetness. Finally I'm informed by my wife that whisky is meant for drinking, not smelling.
I acquiesce and take a sip.
This whisky is SMOOTH. Almost too smooth. I immediately get to find out whether that oak has dominated the flavor profile or not.
It hasn't. That gentlemen was right. This is one CRACKING dram!
The flavors, just as the nose is Speyside at it's finest. The sugars come through onto the flavor profile, but following up is bits and pieces of that oak, never too much, just enough to make it interesting. I start getting a little bit of fruitiness, mainly sultanas, but on aftertaste a hint of apples reaches out and grabs my notice.
The finish is long and short.
The whisky fades away beautifully and gracefully, but up to 3 minutes after a swallow (we timed it) we were again getting notes of sultanas and hints again of that lovely apple.
This lovely little dram has received the highest score I've ever given a whisky before. Which is odd.
I normally research the snot out of my whiskies before trying, much less buying, and here is this random whisky I won, blowing them all, including the all time champion Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix out of the water.
My only faults with this whisky are small and it's more nitpicking then anything else. I would have loved to have seen this sitting at around 45+% ABV because at 40% it's almost too smooth. This is one of those whiskies that you can sip on all night and lose track of how much you've had because it's that smooth.
Even better is the price on this baby. Roughly $175 or so AUS. For a 40 yr old whisky. For a BRILLIANT 40 yr old whisky. Just to help bring this into comparison I've compared this to some other Speyside whiskies that are available in our local bottle shop. Dan Murphy's.
A Macallan 18 yr old runs at around $168 AUS at the local bottle shop. The Glenlivet 25 yr old runs at around $500 AUS. A Glenfarclas 30 yr old runs around $330. And last but not least for major Speyside players the Glenfiddich 40 yr old which runs at around $3300 AUS.
All I can say is that my next online whisky order is going to include a couple of bottles of this. It's too good to pass up.
Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three.