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Promotional materials and the internet rumour mill state that every batch of A'Bunadh contains whiskies from 5 to 25 years old. Is most of the whisky closer to 5 or 25 years old, you ask? Nobody knows for sure. Since it sells for abour $99 here in Ontario, I'd guess there isn't much in the way of whiskies older than 14 or 15 years old in the vattings. I'm not a fan of secrecy, nor do I appreciate the possibly misleading age range but ultimately smell, taste, and texture are what matter most.
(tasted neat from a Highland whisky glass)
- Nose: cinnamon, raisins, dates, brown sugar, toffee, oak, some orange zest
- Palate: rich, full-bodied, toffee, raisins, oak, cinnamon buns, a hint of cherries
- Finish: long, oak-forward, dark chocolate, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts
Random thoughts: this is a really “clean” malt. Nary a hint of sulphur. It’s a touch hot, but you’d never guess this is 61.1% abv. It’s rich, fruity, and sweet, yet it's also quite oaky. Absolutely delicious. Better than the last batch I had (Batch 53). This batch of A'Bunadh is enjoyable neat, and it can also handle a good bit of water. I find it a bit less oak-driven with water added, with the fruitiness taking centre stage. I even had a pour or two served over a large ice sphere, and it was actually really good. Please don't revoke my "whisky nerd" card. When I pitted Aberlour A'Bunadh Batch 53 head to head against Glenfarclas 105, the 'farclas came out on top. That said, this batch of A'Bunadh was more complex and richer to my palate. I think Batch 58 would have knocked out the Glenfarclas.
Would I accept a glass of this if someone offered me one? Yes
- Would I order this in a bar or pub? Without a doubt. This whisky is powerful enough to make you take your time and A'Bunadh is powerful enough to cut through any ambient smells.
- Would I buy another bottle? Yes. Each batch of A'Bunadh is a bit different, but I've never had a bad one.