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Aberfeldy 12 Year Old

Average score from 18 reviews and 63 ratings 79

Aberfeldy 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Aberfeldy
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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@markjedi1
Aberfeldy 12 Year Old

Aberfeldy, owned by Dewar's & Sons, can be found as a single malt for some time now, but produces primarily to provide enough Highland style malt for their famous White Label blended Scotch. In 2014, however, the whole range was updated – black label, golden letters – and some new age statements were added. The entry level malt is still this 12 Year Old.

The nose reveals a malty heart that reminds me mostly of freshly baked cookies. Sultanas, baked Granny Smith apples and some roasted, sugared notes make it fairly sweet. Loads of toffee and a splash of maple syrup. Hint of cuberdons and dry sherry.

It is surprisingly creamy on the palate, but again very malty and sweet. Honey, grain cookies, raisins, caramelized almonds and baked apples. That, in my book, makes for a good continuation of the nose, albeit a bit unexciting.

The finish is quite long with a touch of woodsmoke and some candied orange peel.

Fine whisky to convince a beginning whisky lover, but mostly because of the finish. My bottle came with a small vial of Uisge Source Water of Scotland from the Pitilie Burn, but my Aberfeldy did not need any water.

@Pierre_W

Aberfeldy distillery was founded in 1896 by John Dewar & Sons and is located in Perthshire in central Scotland. Whisky production began in 1898 and luckily survived the Pattinson whisky crisis that followed soon after. The distillery was closed between 1917 and 1919 and was sold to Distillers Company Limited (DCL) in 1925, only to be closed one more time during the Second World War. After the war Aberfeldy distillery prospered, and in 1998 Bacardi – now the owners of John Dewar & Sons – bought it back from Diageo. The 12-year old bottling was first launched in 1999 and has been part of the Aberfeldy core range ever since. This review refers to a "limited bottling" from batch no. 2,905.

The nose is light and fruity to start with. After a while there are flavours of oranges and vanilla, followed by a touch of fudge. Quite grainy too.

The palate is medium-bodied, creamy and just a bit spicy. There are more vanilla flavours, followed by honey and some grassy notes.

The finish is of medium length and pleasantly malty. Light notes of cinnamon and caramel round this one off.

This is a light and very easy to drink everyday dram, good to be sipped at any opportunity. I also love the new packaging that was introduced in 2014. Even if this is not too complex, I still consider it an excellent malt to have once in a while.

This was the last of the "performance" malts at the Last great Malts of Scotland affair I attended last month (thanks @JasonHambrey). My notes from the evening indicate it was sweet. They did talk about honey in the performance or in the pamphlet. I wrote :"nice, would not turn down, would not buy".

I also noted the 21 year old was "ok"

Haven' tried the new 12yo yet, unsure if it is a new take on the old or just repackaged. Only tried it once at the distillery, safe to say I was not impressed, even like the Dewar blends they sold there better. Good review.

@tjb

Aberfeldy is the largest malt whisky component of Dewar's Blended Whisky. This expression is the entry level in the range and is bottled at 40%

Bright gold in the glass with a nose that is creamy, cereal notes, sherried fruits, whiff of smoke.

The palate is a bit thin but smooth, light smoke, barley and sweet honey.

The finish is medium and sweet. Fading malt but still mouth watering.

A solid malt reasonably priced.

I very much enjoy the Aberfeldy, its one of the better "affordable" single malts that we have available year round here in Ontario. It's easy to drink, has enough flavour to keep you interested, and is drinkable any time of year. I agree with most of your review, but might have rated it a few points higher.

This is a nice dram, it is not complex but nicely put together. The nose is slightly soapy, I didn't note it down before. The finish lightly spiced. Ahhhh, should I buy another bottle? Decisions, decisions.

t

I was recently given a selection of 3cl samples from a well known online whisky retailer, which is a great way to try a variety of different malts on a budget. Having said that, I know that some whiskies I found slightly disappointing at first tasting have since become some of my favourites, and therefore I usually wait until working my way through most of a bottle before posting a review. For me, that is the slight disadvantage of samples, so these reviews are based on first impression. Anyway, there is the disclaimer, on with the review!

Nose - Vanilla, runny honey, soft grain, barley, hint of oranges, slightly floral, grassy, heather and a hint of lavender, honeyed oats and flapjack, sticky caramel.

Palate - Vanilla essence and sweet vanilla pods on arrival, hints of caramel and butterscotch, quite sweet, barley sugar and then becomes drying in the development with hay, and a hint of mint.

Finish - Short and mildly sweet, vanilla and gentle toasted oak, hints of cinnamon towards the end, a return of mint, something slightly beery, like real ale.

Lots of vanilla in this one, a particularly appetising nose with all the honey and cereal, the palate is a little more drying and quite short in the development and the finish. All in all a decent entry level malt, lacks a little in complexity but very pleasant drinking.

@vrudy6

Nassau; New Providence, The Bahamas. Island of beaches, cracked conch and just about the kindest people you'll ever meet. I'm sipping Aberfeldy 12 "The Heart of Dewars" at The British Colonial Hilton's lounge. It's been a long time that I wanted to get my hands on this dram, not because of the reviews, but because its affordable and readily available. I've never had anything related to Dewars. I've had a long week, especially for my wife... and what a nightmare week! I wish this nightmare was all about gobbling, vampires and zombies, but it is much worse. We departed on Halloween day from Port of Miami to celebrate my buddy's 25th anniversary on the Norwegian Sky, which sailed to the Bahamas, Nassau being one of the two ports of call. We had to stay in Nassau and part ways with the ship, rush to the local hospital due to my wife fallen ill. Five days later, we're still here in Nassau. Before calling it a day, I decided to check out the bar and voila! they have Aberfeldy 12. Never had it, The other options were of course, Glenlivet and Glenffidich.

Nose: Crisp apples, pears, thin caramel, slight spices and not much else.

Palate: Feels light and thin. Granny Smith apples, caramel, sweet vanilla, This is so thin in flavor that the Sherry influence tastes more like Chardonnay. Very little smoke, way, way in the back, but it's there. And then again, not much else.

Finish: Short, somewhat nutty. The light caramel creeps up again, in microscopic proportions. A bit of spices and once again, THATS IT!!!

I'm not surprised about this outcome. Most reviews describe this weak, watery, bland etc. I definitely don't recommend this. I should've gone for the Glenlivet. At least now I know what it's all about.

Hopefully, we'll be heading back to Miami in the short coming days. By the way, if you ever pay a visit to Nassau, make a quick stop at Twin Brothers restaurant in the Fish Fry strip. Their cracked conch is absolutely amazing. Best I've ever had!

@Uisgebetha

The squat bottle makes the whisky look a very inviting dark amber colour and cute red squirrel on the label is a nice touch too. The description on the packaging of this malt purports a heather honey nose, full bodied and rounded and a dry elegant finish with spicy characteristics and a hint of Seville oranges.

It pours a much paler amber into the glass from which there is certainly some honey in the aromas, and maybe a slight heathery note too along with some malt. It’s quite unusual to find accurate label descriptions which make me think their usually cooked up by marketing gurus rather than the people who make the whisky. Medium rather than full bodied with a pleasant malty flavour complemented by some sherry and honey again. Nothing challenging here but the mellow bittersweet flavours are lovely.

The label was right about the drier finish the sweetness does not last, but as for spicy notes and Seville oranges they never turned up, at least not in my bottle.

@markjedi1

Aberfeldy was founded by John Dewar, the man behind the blend of the same name. So it is not surprising that this is a finger print malt in that very accessible blend. But it is also available as a single malt. This 12 Year Old was bottled around 2004, in a tall bottle that comes in a green tube. Nowadays, Aberfeldy is bottled in dumpy bottles.

The nose is light, grainy and sweet. Some dried grasses and buttercups and a bit of white fruit. Sweet apples. Hints of dried pineapple. Pretty herbal, but too light to be really surprising.

It is equally light on the palate. Almost watery, which is a bit of a shame. A bit of spices, mostly ginger. Aside from some honey and the pineapple from the nose, I also get something slightly bitter as if from cold tea. Not much else.

The finish is medium long with a peppery twist.

Personally, I think the Dewars 12 Year Old blend is better than this single malt.

@Pandemonium

Had quite a few drams of it at the distillery, finishing the drinks of my companions who weren't really into whisky. Not to insult this malt, but I actually prefer the Dewar blends.
Nose: what can I say, light, faint smell of flowers Taste: Smooth and light, not much to tell about this one actually, a bit oily but lack of character

@talexander

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.

It's a decent single malt; picked up 2 bottles this afternoon at my local Costco for $33 each (thought - 'what the hell - give it a try').

The best way for me to describe this whisky; if Dalwhinnie 15 yr, and Glenkinchie 12 yr got married, and had a kid - it would be this Aberfeldy 12 yr.

@Rantavahti

For my taste, Aberfeldy 12 year old was way too delicate in every way. Of course the 40% ABV level causes some of the delicateness but it doesn't explain the whole story. Aberfeldy 12 yrs had the feel like someone had added too much water in it.

The Waterboy has struck this one, literally. Like watching an Adam Sandler movie at it's worst. No character, no edges whatsoever.

Nose: Like scenting a fruity but delicate perfume. The nose is so soft, you can hardly detect it. Hints of honey and floral notes.

Taste: Very sweet and syrupy and a bit spicy.

Finish: Crispy oranges clash with spices in a dry and oaky manner.

Balance: One the most delicate single malts I've tasted. Finish being the best part but it can't save the whole palate which lacks character way too much.

I haven't seen a good Sandler film in ages. He's too full of himself and now connected to the power elite in Hollywood and the world, even worse than Bono and his schmoozing with some of the world's darkest and most callously evil people who seem on the surface like some of the world's most generous with the best of intentions. . . as an artist, whether an actor or a musician, once you hang out with psychological vampires of that magnitude, your creative impulse and good heart goes right out the window. . . .

@ClanVidela

This whisky was a gift from a friend and my first impression was of course the red squirrel on the bottle. Very nice packaging and bottle for sure but looks can be deceiving as I learned in my last review of the Singleton of Dufftown 12yo that had a lovely packaging but failed to deliver. From a price point perspective this one is a few pounds cheaper than the Singleton and the visual experience is almost as good.

The color of the dram is light golden and on the nose you got malt and peat for sure, combined with oak. Spices with a hint of orange peel and vanilla.

The palate offers more malt, peat and a hint of tropical fruit.

The finish is rather rapid and offers malt, citrus and spices.

For a whisky with quite an amount of peat this is very well balanced and rather easy going actually. There is a lot of taste but the finish is a bit of a bummer and I had hoped for a longer build up. Still a very balanced highland whisky that delivers an overall pleasant and interesting whisky experience. This is definitely a whisky one could have as an everyday whisky. This is my new Famous Grouse with a bit more character.

The Famous Squirrel.

@MooreJerka

Prisvärd malt från Highland. De på väg in i whiskyns värld har en bra instegsmalt här. En poäng extra för priset och den snygga flaskan.

@PMessinger
@WTC

Aberfeldy 12 is the first in our hidden gems of the highlands tasting.

Nose: Grapey. Dusty. Chocolate limes. Nutty and green fruits. A wisp of smoke.

Taste: An earthy, grapey creaminess. Light peppery vanilla. Limes and fruit salad chews. On the finish, cape gooseberry.

@Victor

Aberfeldy 12 whisky, produced by John Dewar & Sons Ltd, is proudly labelled on the bottle as "The Heart of Dewar's". I've had this bottle # A54438 open for 8 months. I didn't like this whisky at all for the first six months. This is a review and rating of the whisky at 8 months. For the first 6 months I would have rated this 65 pts, and liked it the least of all of my bottles of malt whisky. For 6 months all I could taste was a locked up tart lemon citrus-- nothing else. It opened up very nicely though

Body: coats the mouth very well

Nose: sweet honey, grass, malt, tart green apples, lemon citrus, and peat

Taste: all of the ripened nose flavours come through beautifully upon delivery

Finish: strong finish, with the peat and citrus becoming stronger still with time. Rich and resonant

Balance: rich and lovely, like a stringed instrument placed strongly vibrato. There is lots expressed here at only 40% ABV.

I can enjoy lemon citrus balanced with other flavours, as expressed here in the oxidised Aberfeldy 12. If lemon citrus is front and center without other strong balancing flavours, I find it just distracting and annoying. Oxidation allowed my bottle of Aberfeldy 12 to become sweeter, rounder, and richer.

This review is another testimony that the same bottle of whisky is a different animal depending upon when it is sampled. I originally looked forward to trying the Aberfeldy 12 because I am almost always quite simpatico with the whisky favourites of one of my whisky buddies, Wodha. I am very happy to see the Aberfeldy 12 evolve into a whisky I greatly enjoy. @Wodha, do you think that I am ready for Glencoe?

Victor, I just bought this one tonight, mainly for two reasons: 1) your review; 2) it's fairly cheap.

I hope my experience will be similar to yours in the long run, because it's virtually the same in the short run. My first dram was very, very tight, with loads of condensed puckery sweetness. Only the faintest trace of peat, and I'm not even sure about that. I don't dislike it at this stage quite as much as you -- I'd score it in the mid-70s -- but it's definitely one-dimensional stuff.

If, as you say, time is kind to this one, I can live with that. I'll give it a taste every couple of months or so and see how it develops. I also picked up a couple of cans of Perfect Preserve tonight, but I infer from your review that I should avoid using it with this one.

@WhiskyBee, yes, I would not use the Private Preserve on any whisky that I wanted to leave open to develop. When the Aberfeldy 12 does open up for you, you will probably still get a lot of sweetness.

@Megawatt

As soon as I put my nose up to this bottle, I had a good feeling about it. This is definitely my style of whisky. The aroma makes me think of sawdust, peeled apples, and spearmint. It is full yet delicate, light, summery. Very attractive.

The whisky has a silky, honied mouthfeel. Soft fruit and firm oak unfold on the tongue. The flavour finds an ideal balance, being neither too bitter or sweet. There is just a slight suggestion of florals, and bubblegum mid-palate. It reminds me somewhat of a lighter, less sherried Aberlour.

The flavour builds on light spices before introducing traces of smoke toward the finish, which lingers pleasantly and rounds out the flavours. Overall I am very pleased with this malt. It pushes all the right buttons and pleases the senses from the first sniff to the last swallow. It is not an in-your-face whisky but neither is it overly subtle.

@chrisrbarrett
@guitaronin

I'm very new to trying to be attentive to the character of my drink, so I'm not going to try to be more creative than honest. :)

First I should note that I'm drinking from a wine glass, not a decanter or snifter. Second, I added Smart Water, which is vapor distilled, but also has some minerals added. I added only about 3/4 tsp to about 2 oz whisky.

I found my best placement for nosing to be about 3 - 4 inches from the rim. I detected a distinct scent of honey, and little or no burn.

To taste, it is very mellow. It fills the mouth in a with a gentle syrupy texture. There is honey flavor. The full flavor doesn't appear until after it's all the way down, at which point it is dry and leaves a tobacco flavor.

Most qualities and ratings are relative, so I may feel differently about my rating after I've tried a few more specimens.

Nothing is wrong with a wine glass, especially those with a big bowl that narrows at the rim.

I know what you mean when you say the whisky had little to offer the tongue, but the finish was where the flavors came out. I have tasted many whiskies with similar attributes. This is why the finish is just as important as the palate!

I found this review very interesting; both precise and honest (I sometimes use a wine glass too BTW).

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