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Aberfeldy Distillery was built by John Dewar & Sons in 1898 for one simple reason - supplying malt for their blends. Of course, that was the main reason for single malt distilleries in the first place (and, really, it still is). Abelfeldy has few single malt expressions (the only two regular ones being a 12 year old and a 21 year old) as so much gets dumped into Dewar's. The distillery is so enveloped by Dewar's that its visitor centre is Dewar's World of Whisky and emphasizes the blending and the life and career of Tommy Dewar.
The colour is a light golden honey. On the nose, as befits the colour, sweet honey, with oranges (marmalade), almond paste, and some oak. You get a bit of the sherry cask in there. Fairly old-fashioned. Green apples. Quite fragrant and malty. A few drops of water bring a more honeyed sweetness to the nose.
On the palate, the almonds turn into hazelnuts - somewhat oily mouthfeel. Very light and pleasant. Quite sweet, with light honey and caramel, with some bitter herbs on the backbone. Water ups the spice factor in the mouth. Very tasty and easy to drink, yet still complex.
The finish is gentle, fruity and with a spicy, lasting depth. There is more complexity in this standard 12 year old than you might think, given its blended fate. But then again, perhaps that is exactly why Dewar's has had such lasting staying power for over a hundred years.