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After a couple of disappointing reviews tonight I thought I would treat myself to something that I might actually want to finish rather than dumping out after finishing my notes.
One of my first Scotch experiences in 2011 was with Aberlour A’Bunadh batch 33. I have been an avid hunter for different batches since that time. Now I try to open batch numbers that correspond to my age (or lower), giving me something to look forward to. Many people find this annoying.
Batch 10 is the 9th batch of A’Bunadh I have tried (I now realize I should have waited until I’d had one more…) and by far the earliest. Wikipaedia suggests it was released in 2003, about 7-8 years before I had even heard of it. This sample is courtesy of @thecyclingyogi
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.
Neat – Rich, but not overpowering, even after covering the glass. I can make out the dark dried fruits typical of this expression. Maybe a hint of something vegetal (sulphur?) but not in a bad way. Definitely sweet nose. I get a steamed hot dog with ballpark mustard after a bite has been taken. Sweet red dessert wine. A hint of leather. Probably more complex than my nose can appreciate. 22/25
With water – Deeper sherry, less of the vegetal note, more leather. With deep inspiration I get some slightly sour white grape juice. Less complex. (22/25)
Neat – Wow! Powerful! Hot. Rich. Sweet. Some spiciness. I get some vanilla, dried fruits, maybe some leather or tobacco (neither of which I have ever literally tasted) . The development becomes drier. No vegetal note 22/25
With water – The heat subsides a little, the complexity is actually muted with the water. (20/25)
Finish: medium long. Dry. Some pepper. 21/25
Balance: Very nicely balanced. The nose and the palate complement each other well. 23/25 (22/25)
Score: Neat - 88 /100 With Water: 85/100
This is surprising to me, as I usually prefer this expression with a few drops of water.
While this is not the best batch of A'Bunadh I've tried, it is far from the worst. This is a very nice example of a consistently excellent expression. I look forward to enjoying the rest of the sample in the future.