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I like to poor strait to the glass and start enjoying. This has always worked well for me. I sit down with my dram and enjoy the evening. I did this with my Aberlour 12 yr Dbl Cask. My first impressions were not that favourable. I found it be a little bit too bold. There was a strong iodine in the finish that I tend to associate (some times in error) with a more inexpensive scotch. Don't get me wrong it was nice. There were some very pleasant aromas from the oak and the sherry was coming through. The fruitiness was there but it was being over shadowed by the strong alcohol.
While surfing the great interweb I stumbled accross singlemalt.tv. More importantly Alex Robertson's bit on tasting Aberlour scotch. Until now I have always seen adding water to scotch as being very gauche. But hey if the International Brand Ambassador for Aberlour is adding water then there must be some merit to the practice.
By just adding a small amount of distilled water to the mix all the aromas are able to flourish. The sweet, fruity, honey aromas fill my nose. The buttery richness flows on my tongue. It's like drinking a whole new scotch. Beautiful, Thank you Alex Robertson for opening my eyes, and nose.