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This is the core expression in the Aberlour range, delivering the best bang for the buck. It is a 43% ABV double cask matured whisky which has spent part of its time in ex-bourbon casks and the other in ex-sherry butts. This combination gives a depth of character and sherry sweetness Aberlour is known for.
Nose: Caramelized sugar! Powdered sugar, fruitcake, and apricot jam. The cinnamon spice that was prominent in the 16yr is noticeably gone. There are just some traces of cloves, but the cinnamon is nowhere to be found. The nose would suggest that this expression from Aberlour is going to be seriously lacking for spice junkies.
Body: It holds up, but comes across a tad on the watery side. Without the spices that build in the 16 and 18 yr expressions, this whisky just feels weaker in the mouth.
Palate: Ok, a bit of spice, but mostly just a sherry sweetness washes over the tongue. There are some pleasing notes of marmalade, dried fruits, and a hint of macadamia nuts.
Finish: Not too long, but not short. I guess that makes it medium? Some spice comes out, but it is not very powerful. The marmalade comes out strong: orange marmalade. Dried mango and pineapple. Delicious, really. There is just a bit of maltiness, but it is not a primary player.
For $34 a bottle, this has to be one of the greatest whiskies ever. It may not bowl you over with its smoothness, its palate complexity, or its long, powerful finish, but it is VERY drinkable, delivering a profile that is sweet (but not too sweet) and just a little spicy, culminating in a very pleasant finish.
If anyone out there is looking for a good "everyday" whisky at a good price, you owe it to yourself to pick up a bottle of this honey of a whisky and give it a go! You won't regret it.