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A'Bunadh needs no introduction. I've reviewed Batch 53 and Batch 58, and I'm sure I'll review more batches. I've liked pretty much every Aberlour offering I've ever tasted so, spoiler alert, it's unlikely that this one will be bad. Or will it ? Suspenseful music Bam bam baaaaaaam !
Neat from a Glencairn glass
- Nose: raisins, red fruit, a bit of ethanol nip, oak, toffee
- Palate: hot, quite tannic, lots of oak (a little too much for my liking), some raisins, toffee, and a slightly off-kilter note that feels a bit out of place. I want to say that there's a sulphured cask or two in the mix here. It's not prominent, but something feels out of whack.
- Finish: long, warming, raisins, oak, orange zest
- Thoughts: this isn't bad whisky by any means, but I can't say this is my favourite batch of A'Bunadh.
- Rating (neat): 86/100
With water added
- Nose: more red fruits, sultanas, toffee, vanilla, a touch of orange zest
- Palate: water calms the tannins down a bit, more sultanas, maraschino cherries (the real Luxardo type, not the neon bombs you find at Walmart), cinnamon, black pepper, toffee, perhaps some smoked paprika
- Finish: still long, with toffee, dates, black pepper, and maybe, just maybe a bit of sulphur (spent match). Not enough to ruin the experience for me like some of the true "sulphur bombs" I've had (cough Glen Garioch cough) but there's something off here.
- Thoughts: A'Bunadh is always a fairly safe bet for me. Even with the "faint whisper" of sulphur, and it is faint, this one remains pretty enjoyable.
- Rating (with water): 87/100
This A'Bunadh has been open for over a year. My friend had literally one dram from it in June 2019 when he bought it and he didn't like it. So perhaps the little bit of air exposure it's had has made the sulphur more prominent. But like I said, this isn't a stink-bomb, but there's definitely a little something "off" here.