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The Aberlour distillery is one of the most gorgeous sites in all of Speyside, with grey stone walls, bright red doors and trim, and a babbling brook running alongside it. I didn't get a chance to tour the distillery when I visited, but had the pleasure of dining there - Whisky Chef Martine Nouet did an incredible menu of dishes both cooked and paired with various Aberlour expressions. It was an incredible evening. I hope to tour the distillery on my next visit to Speyside (whenever that will be)...
This 16 Year Old is double cask matured, in ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry casks. The colour is a deep reddish gold. On the nose, we have dark fruits, oak, damp earth, soft spices, a hint of citrus - a bit like a whisky-soaked fruitcake. Quite floral as well, more so with water. This takes me back to the dunnage warehouses in Speyside - they all have that damp, soft fruity aroma where the casks are sleeping.
On the palate, lots of cherries, a little nutty, and more vanilla than on the nose. The vanilla becomes more prevalent with a drop of water. Very soft and fruity, but with a fair amount of spice as well. Extremely luxurious.
On the finish there is a late delivery of nutmeg and pepper throughout a long developing finish. This is an absolutely gorgeous dram, one of the best Speyside malts I have had. It is an excellent example of a very well-sherried whisky - I suspect it must have spent more time in sherry casks than in bourbon casks, as the vanilla only occasionally peeks out from beyond the dark fruits. Quite decadent and wonderful.