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Aberfeldy 21 Year Old

Pleasant Drinking

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@MaltActivistReview by @MaltActivist

22nd Jul 2015


Aberfeldy 21 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The Aberfeldy 21 was one of the first few whiskies I bought early on. Don't really know why other than it seemed fairly affordable for a 21 year old whisky and I believe it was generally rated quite high among critics.

What do I personally think of Aberfeldy? I don't, actually. I've had the 12 year old at a bar somewhere and was completely unmoved. I had this one sitting on my shelf for the longest time and was completely unmotivated to open it.

Aberfeldy, owned by Bacardi, is the largest component of malts to go into the Dewars blend which would explain it's 3.5 million litre annual spirit output.

The distillery itself puts out three single malts as part of it's original bottles: the 12, 18 and the 21 with the rest going into blends or snapped up by independents.

This 21 year old from the Highland region has been finished off in sherry casks having spent a large part of it's life in both first and second-fill bourbon barrels.

My sample is from a brand new bottle and served at a weakish 40%

Nose: Honey. Heather. Malt. Fruits. Soft apricots. Poached apples. The tiniest of toasted oak. Puff pastry. Sliver of dough. Eucalyptus. Let it breathe and it mellows. Now more floral. Heathery. Oranges. It's a nice enough nose. 22/25

Palate: Quite thin. Takes time to evolve. But then comes around nicely. Oranges. Butterscotch. Vanilla. Red apples. That same toasted oak as on the nose. Chew it a while to get some purple fruits. Decent. 22/25

Finish: Lingers. Quite dry. Woody. Hint of spice. Betel leaf. 21/25

Overall comments: It's very hard to rate a whisky like this. It didn't offer me the complexity that I was looking for nor offer me anything unusual, to be honest. And maybe that's the reason it does well in a blend.

I have to understand that not everyone is looking for fireworks when it comes to their whiskies. Some just like to keep things simple.

And that's exactly what this whisky is.

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Victor commented

@MaltActivist, thanks for a very informative review.

I haven't yet tasted Aberfeldy 21 yo. Even at a better than average price for 21 yo whiskies, does one really want to buy an 87 point middle of the road offering? Isn't this what blended whisky is for? Stuff like Compass Box Asyla or Great King Street Artist's Blend?

Knowing your style and your tastes after 3 years I completely understand why this one sat for a long time unopened on your shelf. Our tastes are very similar in this respect. Not something you expected to get your blood pumping. And you were right.

Thanks again for your review.

9 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

@Victor To answer your question - Nope. No reason at all. Like I said it's super hard to find any major faults with a whisky likes this without being completely subjective and saying 'Nah, I really don't care much for this.'

But if given to me at a friends' place while I'm socializing I'll thank them for the hospitality, finish my whisky and promptly forget about it.

Is that how I want to treat a whisky? Certainly not.

8 years ago 0