As I make my way through last year’s whisky advent calendar, I am reviewing samples and minis I have collected and neglected over the years to compare and contrast. I just reviewed the Aberlour expression, and it was such a traumatic experience I needed something to redeem it.
I picked up a 50 cc sample of this from Fine Drams in 2015 when I had an order shipped to a friend in the US. This was an add-on because I head heard about it (and it was not available in Ontario) and was excited to try it. But then, waiting for the right time set in. I think 4.5 years is long enough to wait.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Right away I can tell there is some depth to this nose. I get the sherry, but it seems layered. There is a freshness, fruitiness. Certainly not as bold as an A’Bunadh, though, and the sherry note seems to fade with time. Not a bad nose. Water brings back the sherry notes, and I get some dried fruits, a hint of prunes. (22/25)
Light on first sip. More body on the subsequent tastes. Thick mouthfeel. A little spirity. On further exploration there is some cherry, dark fruits, pepper on the development. Quite decent. With water I get a hint of leather or tobacco or both (I have tasted neither in real life to my knowledge) and it becomes more complex. (22/25)
Tannins, a little astringent. The pepper trails off.
Nicely balanced between the nose and palate. I would have preferred a little more power on the nose and a little more complexity on the palate.
I tried it after a tiny bite of Montezuma 100% Cocoa dark chocolate (nothing added, no sugar, nothing). No difference.
Score: Neat - 86.5/100 With Water: 87.5 /100
This is pretty good. Not sure I would buy a bottle of it (if I could) because I have a lifetime supply of A’Bunadh which I prefer to this expression. But if offered at a party I would be quite inclined to accept.
@Nozinan This one is a big step up on the regular 12YO which is a bit of a weakling from my one and only experience. I wish we could get the 48% non-chillfiltered version here. Good, comprehensive review. Thanks.