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I tried and reviewed the Aberlour 10 around a week ago and loved it so it only seemed right that I should meet its older brother. I was excited about this one as the bottle for me really adds a sense of occasion I felt was slightly lacking with the 10. Obviously being between £10 - £15 more than the 10 I am not expecting a greater whisky... more a refinement.
Nose:The dark chocolate I found a real delight in the 10 has disappeared. Replaced by a sweeter scent of brown sugar gently boiling... not quite caramelised but almost. Cherry appears as an afterthought and adds a nice touch to the scent. Theres something else, maybe some sort of nut (walnut?) but unfortunately my nose obviously hasn't developed enough to place it.
Palate: Wow, for me the 10 was confusing. The elements in their youth were all fighting to gain supremacy. In the 12 They have settled and decided on their prevalence. A gentle smoke tantalises as the sweetness of cherries and the brown sugar that at this point has caramelised completely.
Finish: The perfect level of finishes for me. The tongue tingles as spice enters the fray, the sweetness fades slightly. Raisins finally make a long awaited entry but not in an intrusive way. In fact I can still taste them now several minutes after finishing my dram.
I cannot fault this bottle at the price. For me its a strong favourite, nothing I have tasted quite makes me smile as much as this one. Don't get me wrong its not in my top 5 but the smile is worth so much more. Nothing would be more pleasant than a second dram but unfortunately I decided to try the 10 first to get a direct comparison. What a shame. Don't think I will ever be without a bottle of this one and must say as a double cask it walks all over the similarly priced Glenmorangie Lasanta. Can't wait to see how this bottle matures (if I can wait long enough to let it!)