Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Aberlour 12 Double Cask Matured

A Decent Staple

2 4182

@RianCReview by @RianC

17th Oct 2017

0

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
    ~
  • Overall
    82

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I know that prices and availability vary; so my mentioning it may seem pointless to some. Just to clarify, I find it helpful and interesting; and I make no bones about price playing a small part in my rating of a whisky. If it's good and it costs less surely that's more enjoyment and vice versa? Or am I just cheap?

With that in mind Aberlour 12, here in the UK, is a malt that all supermarkets stock. Retails at around £35 but is frequently (and I mean frequently) on offer for £25. It's one along with Pulteney 12 and Highland Park 12 that I look to pick up when the deals are on.

This ones been open for about 6 weeks and half the bottle gone.

On the nose it's a bit more nippy than my last bottle a couple of years back. It's got better but it needs a few drops just to smooth it out. Quite spicy, a little woody and a very appealing red toffee apple note. A little vanilla.

Taste wise; it's quite light in the mouth with a slightly sweet, red fruit arrival starts to go more sour with orange peels and then a big dose of that wood spice.

Finish is medium, more of the wood bitterness now along with the spice notes but it works. Fairly drying but with enough sweetness to balance it a touch.

Overall, for what you ( I will) pay for this it is hard to refuse a bottle. Can enjoy getting my nose right in there but don't feel it's a waste to just idly sip when watching a film or what have you. I'd prefer the other two I mentioned above before this but would not be offended if it was the only bottle left on the shelf.

Related Aberlour reviews

41 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Nice, honest review.

Because I was hooked on A'Bunadh from the start, I find the other expressions a little weak and thin. But maybe with my recent palate maturation I might be willing to try this sometime, but I probably won't be buying a bottle.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@RianC, there is much discussion on Connosr about whether or not it is desirable to factor value for money into ratings given to whiskies. Most, I think, I included, would rather not have any influencing of score based on price. Why? It just muddies the waters and gives an additional factor to try to sort out in understanding what the score of the review means. It is also true that in an international club prices can vary a great deal depending upon where the product is purchased. Tying the score to the value for money of the reviewer in his/her specific context devalues the general usefulness and intelligibility of the review.

There are plenty of discussions and much posting revolving around value for money. It gets brought up quite often.

I don't like Aberlour 12 enough to ever buy a bottle of it. It is, as my sister would say, "not horrible", but this is pretty basic stuff, without a reason for me to want to buy or drink it.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor I agree with you to an extent.

I have a threshold of quality under which I would rather have club soda. I agree that the price should have nothing to do with the numeric score.

But I have to admit that to me, a $300 bottle that scores a 90 is exciting, but a $30 bottle that scores 90 is even more exciting because it was so good for so little...

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

Absolutely true...but if somebody scored the $ 300 90 point whisky at, say 78 points, because it was expensive, you would never know from that score that it was an excellent whisky. Communication is far more clear when quality = quality, and not score = my idea of quality relative to the price at which I bought it.

about one year ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

(In case anyone's counting votes, I agree 100% with @Victor.)

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Absolutely, quality of taste should not be confused with price.

But the "I got a steal" feeling when you sip on that $300 whisky that was sold for $50 or something like that can't be bought... (ironically)

about one year ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

This won't be the first time I've repeated Serge's frequent quip: We don't taste price tags.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, so true! Getting to taste the greatness on the cheap is a tremendous thrill.

I experienced the reverse of that this past Sunday when @Dramlette insisted that we gift to our dinner-party hostess one of those $ 49 bottles of Talisker 18 I bought in 2011. I remain a little bit in mourning for that bottle, even though I still have 3 more.

about one year ago 4Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor That is a loss. It would almost feel better to buy one for $80 or whatever and gift it...

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, $ 80? Maybe at an excellent price in the UK. Here Talisker 18 is now $ 140 plus 9% tax.

Wine-searcher.com gives current UK average price at $ 87, world average at $ 128, US average price at $ 157. Our local price is close to typical US price.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Never having seen a bottle of the 18 I was pulling the number out of an orifice... sorry. but my point is sometimes those bottles that you did so well on become all the more precious for that.

I find that I'm less happy to empty or part with a bottle that has a good back story...

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, yes, that is the way it is for me too. Sometimes sentimentality rules.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Unfortunately for me it's mostly always. That's why we have so much junk to sort through from the move...and a few Forty Creek and Glenora bottles I probably shouldn't still have....

about one year ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

All fair and valid points! I'm new to this and so happy to gain a more helpful understanding of how to provide informing reviews and useful feedback to people.

When I've rated a whisky here I've simply slid the bar up as far as I felt it made me close to ecstatic (100). I doubt the price is going to have a huge bearing on that but I'll bear it in mind, for sure.

Does a little of that not creep into everyone's opinion though, even subconsciously?

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@RianC, whisky ecstasy for me arrives somewhere around 96 points. If ecstasy were not until a rating of 100 points then nothing would take me to the place of ecstasy. But, some whiskies definitely do take me to ecstasy.

When every sip elicits an involuntary "Oh my God!" reaction, that is whisky ecstasy. Octomore 2.2, and a few others, do that for me.

about one year ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@Victor - Ooh stop it! ;)

Well, I've not found my 96 . . . yet . . . but there's been a few around the 90 mark I'd say.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I've rated only 2 whiskies above 95, @Victor . One was a relatively mundane Canadian Club but it was the experience and the memory that was 100. The other was Amrut peated CS.

I don't know if I had an orgasm with every sip, but when the Ashok manoeuvre is properly applied, and with a few drops of water....oh my!

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, Oh! You are talking about whisky! When you mentioned both hands....

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@RianC, are you asking if price influences the thought process when evaluating a whisky?...as in, this is a cheap one, I can't score it 93 points or, this bottle retails for $300, it must be better than the $50 bottle I rated at 91 points. It has never crossed my mind.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge Get your mind out of the gutter and back into the bottle where it belongs

about one year ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

And sometimes a very expensive whisky with high expectations can be a let down. For instance I tried the Perpetuum distillery release, $400+ bottle. Didn't think it was anything special. I preferred the Oogie. I have two whiskies that will send me to whisky heaven. Farclas 15 and Arran 14.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

I freely admit that price influences me. I try to be objective, but I realize that it isn't entirely possible. I rated my last bottle of Aberlour 12 Double Cask an 86, I believe. It was a really good bottle. And the fact that I paid $65 for it (it's gone up to $70 now) was a bonus. I was expecting something "ok" and I thought it was above-average. Perhaps my difficulty in dissociating price and quality is the reason I almost never spend more than $100 on whisky (Lagavulin excepted). I have friends who have far more money than me and who just buy whatever strikes their fancy, regardless of price.

I have to say, Highland Park 18 was a revelation, and not of the divinely-inspired type. It was good, but not great. If I had paid $200 (which is what it sells for here) for a bottle, I would have been pissed (angry, not inebriated). The HP 12 is $80 and the HP 18 I tried was only marginally better (approx. 85/100 for the HP12 vs about 87/100 for the HP18). Same for the Macallan Sienna. It was pretty darned good (I would have rated it about 89/100) but I'm sure I would have been disappointed had I spent $190 on a bottle. Maybe I simply need to temper my expectations. Did I rate Benromach 10 higher because I only paid $59 for it? I don't think so, as I remember thinking I'd still buy it at $79. And I may have to pay that if the KGBO ever brings it back.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound I agree, the Ben 10 was good, period. Not just "good for the price".

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, that HP18 comment sounds like it was from a sample. If the bottle was newly opened you can expect to be a little underwhelmed by HP18. HP18 gets really good after the bottle has been open about 4 months. There are at least 3 people on Connosr who have had the exact same experience you did, who found out later that this is true,after being informed of this by me. But if you don't work from a bottle, or don't know how long the bottle has been open, there is no way to gauge the air effects.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor I find that bottles evolve after opening, even when gassed. Not sure why. I notice this with things like springbank that need to open but that I don't open often enough to keep ungassed.

about one year ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@paddockjudge It's more that if I feel I'm getting a good deal, as in vfm, then I think it has to play at least some part in influencing my enjoyment - hence score.

I don't mean that because I pay £50 for a whisky I expect it to be twice as good as a £25 bottle. I guess that's why even if I won the lottery I'd still balk at paying thousands for a bottle . . .

As has been said, I think we have to acknowledge we are subjective but try to be as mindful and 'detached' as we can when appraising a whisky. I think the best reviewers are honest and consistent and so you get to have a 'feel' for what they like and how their descriptions match or relate to whiskies you've tried.

about one year ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@OdysseusUnbound Benromach 10 would be a great example. I love the stuff, and everything I've had from the distillery, but at £30 - £35 it makes it just that little bit more enjoyable, or perhaps I should say, I respect the whisky more for this.

It's a bit like you've found an expensive antique vase at a car boot sale. Doesn't change the quality of the vase but your relationship with it changes because of the price you paid. If that makes sense?

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor My friend “guesstimated” That his bottle had been opened for about 6-7 months, but it was less than 1/3 full when we started drinking it. So there could have been a LOT of air affecting it. I still liked it, but I was underwhelmed. (I know that’s not actually a word.)

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, hard to say what was going on there with the HP18. As for language, we do make our own words here sometimes. "Underwhelmed" is a longstanding and periodically used Connosr favourite.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor So we have agreed that "guestimate" is a real word, and "underwhelmed" is not?

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Laissez-faire. I am more inclined to use "underwhelmed" than "guestimate". For "guestimate" purposes I prefer to take a "SWAG" at it; SWAG = Sophisticated Wild-Ass Guess.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor and for me, it would have to be USWAG, as I don't think I am as sophisticated. After all, I occasionally drink Früli.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I find that price comes into play more with expensive whiskies. And usually for the better—assuming you didn't get swindled with some overprice crapola.

When the whisky is expensive, you have higher expectations—and you pay more attention to it, which gives it a better chance of actually meeting those high expectations. You know you're drinking something special, so you bend all your senses toward it, and suddenly you're discovering all these nuances and beautiful little corners that were otherwise hidden inside.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@MadSingleMalt, interesting. I cannot say that I react that same way. I compartmentalize the tasting experience away from considerations of price. Later I go back and remember what I paid for the bottle and make an assessment of value for money. I don't hold any expectation of greatness based on price, age, or distillery of origin...but I am more annoyed upon later reflection if an expensive bottle disappoints than if an inexpensive bottle disappoints.

Yes, I would rather get a 90 point experience out of a $ 50 bottle than out of a $ 300 bottle, but I don't shade the grading based on price.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@Victor , I expect you've had enough experience to get "past" that effect I'm talking about, but it's a widely acknowledged psychological phenomenon that occurs with food and wine and on and on.

You frame something as special going in, and the experience is special.

Here's a link—I confess that I've only skimmed it, but it looks like it covers the ground that I've read about previously: sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/…

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt I'm with @Victor . Once one has a base amount of knowledge and experience, and awareness of "hype", the only thing that price adds to a perception is a higher expectation, and possible more disappointment, in my not so humble opinion.

about one year ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@Nozinan, if someone put a glass of Jameson in front of you, and then followed that with a glass of 1964 Black Bowmore, you wouldn't attend to the latter differently? You wouldn't look to get more from it than from the Jameson? You wouldn't experience the specialness of the experience as an added layer to the bald experience of the liquid itself?

All you would feel is a setup for a letdown?

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt I would be excited about trying something rare. I would be disappointed if it tasted plain.

about one year ago 0

jonahsss commented

This is an awesome review! I should come here more often for additional tips. Thanks for sharing. www.onefibe.com

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@jonahsss are you sincere, are you interested in being part of a community that focuses on appreciation of fine spirits?

Or is the link simply shameless advertising?

about one year ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in