Not too long ago Aberlour launched their a’bunadh Alba, matured on bourbon casks, as an extension (or is that replacement?) of the a’bunadh that is matured exclusively on Spanish sherry casks. The last batch of the latter – batch 66 – appeared in november 2019. I was able to secure a sample of batch 60 from 2017 and will keep some water at hand.
It’s a lot more fresh and sweet than the previous batch I tried (batch 22 from 2007) with lots of red fruit, but also toffee apples and candied oranges. A hint of chocolate and lots of herbal notes like rotting plants (not an off-note). Adding water gives molded wood and detracts some of the sweetness.
Nicely creamy on the palate. Immediately a lot of caramel and raisins, but also cough syrup and liquorice. Only then does the fruit shine: orange peel, dried apricots, almonds and plums. Feisty though. Adding water makes it a bit sharp and more outspoken.
The finish is deliciously long and goes from citrus fruit to nuts and back, only to end in a note of bitter, dry oak.
This is the 13th batch I tried and while I am not superstitious, it’s one of the lesser gods – but still a great whisky!