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Aberlour 18 Year Old

Silkiest of Whisky

0 1790

@mattbergReview by @mattberg

2nd Jun 2011

0

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Overall
    90

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is faultless, excellent Whisky. Absolutely exquisite on the palate, melt in the mouth flavors, oranges, toffee, parchment, gentle oak and smoldering light smokiness that swirls and vaporizes with a hint of sherbet finish.

Choose this over Highland Park 18yo, hands down, lighter and smoother, and a contender for the Highland Park 21yo at half the price. A drop of water simply expands the dram and lengthens the pleasure but great with or without.

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17 comments

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

After the crappy bottle of Highland Park 18y and not esp exciting HP 12y - I am really disappointed and swearing that off. I am looking forward to a shortly to be arriving Aberlour 18y....

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Greglog, "crappy" Highland Park 18 and "not esp exciting" HP12 sound like newly opened bottles. I know where you are coming from here. These whiskies often don't oxidise to their best flavours for a period of months. Our bottle of HP18 took 3 to 4 months to become the HP 18 that I had tasted in restaurants and bars. Our bottle of HP 12 took 8 months for the sweetness and full barley-malt flavours to come out. The experience can be very very different after the whiskies have had a long chance to open up. A lot of whiskies will taste 'nothing-y' at first, and then the next month, and then the next month, and then...Wow!

7 years ago 0

@maltster
maltster commented

@greglog,@ victor, I agree with victor that quite a lot of whiskies need some aerating time to develop their full aroma by getting in contact with the oxygen. For a tasting I wanted to have a Lagavulin 16 in the flight which was unopened and I decanted it into a large wine decanter for a couple of days and the effect was astonishing. @Greglog,give your HP 18/12 a little more time and you will be rewarded for sure as the whole HP range delivers excellent quality. The development over time; the opening of the whisky in the glass is the same thing - my experience is the denser and richer the aromas in a whisky are (peat/smoke/sherry etc.)the more time the whisky needs to fully develop it´s flavour profile.

7 years ago 0

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

Gentlemen - Thanks so much for your input. I was afraid that my HP18 was a chinese knock-off or some such. After the Uigeadail and a'Bunadh, the thinness was pathetic, the nose almost non-existent and the taste purely one dimensional.

OK - I will take your suggestion to heart and put them on the back shelf with occasional progress tastings and check back in 6 mos time or so.

BTW - If I understand right, I could decant a portion to speed up the progress. I suspect I should use a container with a little cap to slow the evaporation.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@GregLogan, you appear to be a Cask Strength sort of guy! I understand that taste preference well, being primarily in that camp myself. You mention Ardbeg Uigeadail and Aberlour A'bunadh, my first and fourth favourite malts...relatively few commonly available whiskies compete in that league with respect to density of flavours. Your HP18 will probably become much richer and more beautifully dimensional in time. The HP12 may blossom too, but it isn't likely to ever compete in flavour density to a whisky sold at Cask Strength. Speaking of cask strength, I have a few ryes and bourbons that would knock you over, too...

7 years ago 0

@maltster
maltster commented

@GregLogan, I tried this airing for the first time with the Laga16 and a cask strength-it worked well but after a couple of days I would recommend to pour the Whisky back to the bottle.

7 years ago 0

@maltster
maltster commented

@GregLogan, I pushed the add button too soon - with the cask strength I checked every two/three days and it took 4 weeks to satisfy me...it's worth trying. Enjoy.

7 years ago 0

@mattberg
mattberg commented

Best HP I have tried is the 21yo at 47%, superb silky balance and complexity... only available at airports (hard to find) or in the UK in 5cl at £10 of which there is plenty... the 12 yo and 18yo were otherwise pretty bland/neutral to me... have found myself this past year only really enjoying Whisky at 46% abv upwards... If you like Sherried Speysiders the Aberlour Abunadh is very hard to beat irrespective of price and I've been trying Whiskies this past few months at triple the price... will be far more selective in future

7 years ago 0

@mattberg
mattberg commented

I really wouldn't bother with The Aberlour 18 yo.... doesn't differ much from the HP 18 imho...

7 years ago 0

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

Thanks Gents - you input is very helpful - inc. not leaving decanted very long. I have been hesitant to put anything back into the bottle once it has come out for fear of damaging the existing contents. Is that fear somewhat unnecessary as long as the transition is clean?

@Victor - I noticed that you had some Laphroaig 18 in your cabinet. I was similarly dissatisfied with my Laph Triple wood compared to my original restaurant experience. I suspect the same facts may hold here and I will give it a try.

BTW - it was the Laph 3wood that really pushed me over the bluff - I had a MaCallan Cask strength on Christmas Eve and was suitably impressed to be open to further review - and the the Laph a couple weeks ago - now I am $600 poorer but well stocked. I thank the Gents at "ForPeatSake" to help me stock my cabinet and the A'bunadh #38 and Uigeadail have been marvelous indeed (a colleague bought my A'bunadh bottle right away from me for a weekend party after just a wee tasting...). It seems quality in scotch as in women - depending on the characteristic one is seeking - is fairly universally accessible...

I guess I need to get a decanter!

Greg

7 years ago 0

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

@Matt - Thanks re: Ablr18 - already on order - BUT I will definitely hold on the Ablr16 I was considering to get for comparison until the 18y is vetted. Yea - the A'bunadh blew our socks off... they are still off... I ordered to Batch #38 and have located a batch #37 all at great prices.

7 years ago 0

@mattberg
mattberg commented

Hey Greg on reflection the Aberlour 18yo is much better than the HP 18, a lot more complex and refined.. I'm just a bit of an Abunadh fanatic when it comes to the Aberlour range... enjoy..

7 years ago 0

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

@Matt - I have received my Aberlour 18 and am stunned - right from the start I knew I was onto some very decent quality and grew from there - I can honestly state some "floral notes in the finish" which is the most advanced I have been other than "butterscotch notes in the finish" of the A'bunadh.

Here is my quandry - these Aberlours are really dense - yet they taste GREAT right off the bat - no waiting around - no "sour/off" smell and taste - thick and yummy. In contrast the HP18 is thin and lifeless... I wonder if they forgot to clean the still??

Anyway - I am still at the beginning of this and will wait a couple of mos per the above input.

BUT I do want to say that I highly recommend the 18y - it is very different and, frankly, more flavorful than the A'bunadh I think.

7 years ago 0

@mattberg
mattberg commented

Hi Greg, I must get another bottle of this... it's been a while since I tasted it however I do remember comparing it with HP 18 and thinking it was miles better... as said my fave HP is the 21 yo at 47% abv which is an outstanding offering... I found the HP 18 unremarkable and would not buy another bottle, just seemed anti-climatic compared with the Aberlour 18 and the HP 21 at 47%... The Aberlour 18 was richer and more complex whereas the HP 18 kind of felt like it was mass produced... different casks, different water sources and distillation process's... all depends upon one's taste buds... the Aberlour 18 would probably be even better at 46% abv.. who knows... if you get a chance try Talisker 18 yo, it's £10 more than the Aberlour 18yo but a super smooth offering...

7 years ago 0

@maltster
maltster commented

The Aberlour 18 is a very good Whisky - the a'bunadh just offers the extra kick from the cask strength and is a bit more on the wild side. The Talisker 18 is one of the really great Whiskys; it offers a more refined Taliskerprofile with depth and complexity - good recommendation @mattberg. I think most Whiskys reach their peak at the age of 18 to 21 years - afterwards the character of the destillery is more or less overpowered by the aromas from the aging in the oak (of course there are exceptions...) You could also try the Laphroaig 18 or Caol Ila 18 if you like peated stuff or the excellent Longrow/Springbank 18. Other sherried alternatives are Glendronach 15 Revival or Glengoyne 17.

7 years ago 0

@mattberg
mattberg commented

@maltster... Springbank 18 is for me the best in class, as I've written in other reviews, I've tried several Whiskies recently from £60 upto £120 bracket and thought they were very poor (Old Pultney 21 was fruit salad).. a good education nonetheless.. between £35 and £70 the Abunadh, Tali 18 and Springer 18 are the best... I don't feel I will ever need to spend more than £70 on a bottle of scotch again to find what I want when these beauties are around... any suggestions would be welcome though

7 years ago 0

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

Gents

Thanks so much for this kind input. I have just blown $1,000US in the last 30 days in loading up my cabinet - overall pretty happy - several dups. I will be trying your suggestions during various outings to determine how to most properly spend the next $1,000 - maybe in 2013...:-) Best, Greg

@Matt - I acknowledge your HP18 rvw - seems to be my experience though I have been airing the bottle and the sourness seems to have largely dissipated (need to do that w/the HP 12 as well),

I am drinking the Ab18 now - and tremendously enjoyable. I look forward to these other 18s - I will add them to my list.

BTW - I have heard that 18 - 21y is about the typical max and it is sort of downhill from there.

7 years ago 0

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