Day 7 of the KWM 2020 Whisky Advent Calendar is Aberfeldy 12 Year Old, which I not only reviewed before (though many years ago), but also had some in October during the Spirit of Toronto Online Masterclass with Stephanie MacLeod. So I don't think there is any point to doing a second review of it, but luckily I have some Aberfeldy 21 Year Old that I haven't written about yet, and we can do a wee side-by-side. The 21 Year Old was launched in 2005; my bottling is not the current design but the one before that (I bought it many years ago, but didn't open it until the October Masterclass). It comes in a lovely box with a silk lining inside to cradle the precious liquid within (I guess).
The colour is a rich gold. On the nose the primary note is heather honey (definitely part of their house style, which I learned during the Masterclass); also cinnamon, mango, orange peel, light caramel, strawberries and really firm oak. Rather biscuity. Maltier with water. It's a rich, luscious nose, quite decadent.
The palate is fruitier with orange pulp, more honey and light spice. Mackintosh toffee. Some coconut, and also some serious oak to give it backbone. Thin mouthfeel, but creamier and silkier (and spicier) with water. Nutty but can't place it more specifically. Sweet (but not too sweet) and delicious.
The mouth-drying finish has orange zest, kumquat and allspice - very Christmas-y! This really is yummy stuff - nothing that knocks anything out of the ballpark but it is a rich, honeyed, fruity dram that is a pleasure to sip. Now, the calendar offering of the 12 Year Old? It noses very young, where the orange peel here is dried or candied - not nearly as rich; and the palate and finish share the same notes as the 21, just far more muted. Seven years ago I scored the 12 an 86; I think I would mark it a few notches lower this time around.