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The Aberlour 16yr is a 43% ABV whisky double cask matured in both ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry butts, which gives it the signature "depth of character ... distinctive fruitiness and spiciness" of the distillery. The sherry gives the whisky a deep "rich golden amber" color according to the distillery, giving it a beautiful color in the glass.
Nose: Rich sherry, honey, and fruitcake. Cinnamon spice (and everything nice!) and cloves coming out. The nose is very similar to the 12yr and 18yr, in that they are all heavily sherried. The difference would be that the 16yr has a very spicy profile in addition to the sherry notes. Being a lover of sherry-finished whiskies, I could sit here and nose this sweet dram all night! Mmmmmm....
Body: Medium, rich.
Palate: Spice hits the palate with sweet fruitcake. Honey spice overflows, delivering just a hint of roasted oak in the back. There is just the faintest trace of "wax" that coats the tongue. This is barely noticeable, but I did pick it up. The flavor of this whisky is not as good as the 18yr in the mouth, but the finish is spectacular!
Finish: Incredible! Booming spice with billowing sherry. A bit of roasted macadamia nut, but just a hint. There is just a bit of dryness coming out at the end, getting your attention and reminding you that you are drinking whisky.
Obviously this isn't as smooth as the 18yr, but not everyone wants a whisky that is so smooth you don't even feel it slip over the tongue and down the pipe! The 16yr brings just enough dry-spice to make you sit up and take notice, but smooth enough to make you appreciate the fine craftsmanship of the whisky. This really is a fine dram. I plan to keep it stocked in my cabinet from now on, as it represents a fantastic value at $54.