Aberlour have been releasing their a’bunadh for more than 20 years now. ‘From the well’ it means. I have had the good fortune of trying some ten batches and they’re all pretty close taste-wise. Logical of course. Today I will try an early batch – number 22 - bottled more than 13 years ago, in 2007.
Deep sherry with dark and red fruit. But the nose also has a surprisingly salty note, although that vanishes quickly. Tobacco leaves dominate, followed by black grapes and cranberries. Then a handful of hazelnuts. The addition of a tea spoon of water makes it a little less sweet, but does offer some aniseed. This is again a very attractive nose.
Sturdy arrival and immediately piquant on cloves, nutmeg and chili peppers. Then a very sweet, almost candy-like note follows like red lace candy and maple syrup. Adding water makes it more creamy and sweet but rather dark. Think liquorice and chocolate.
The finish is – very long – and sweet on red fruit and some butterscotch. Salted caramel at the death.
I have yet to encounter an a’bunadh that I did not like. This is simply marvellous stuff despite the fact that it’s probably very young whisky. Active casks for sure.