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It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon. My son and I have to postpone our visit to the zoo (Monday’s forecast is promising). Having done all the chores assigned to me by my wife, it’s time to do a couple of reviews. But what to pick? With my whisky consumption at a 2 year nadir in August and September, I thought I should choose something to help reinvigorate my excitement.
Aberlour A’Bunadh was one of the first whiskies I tried on my whisky journey, which started just over 10 years ago. It was the first one I fell head over heels for (and not because I drank too much at once). I used to get through more than one bottle a year, but over the years my original whisky club drifted apart, and I’ve expanded my repertoire. It’s been two and a half years since I’ve opened a new bottle, and yet I still have 2 open.
I first opened this one April 27, 2018 to celebrate my 49th birthday. It was decanted into a 4 oz bottle in March 2019. Now, with less than 2 oz left, it’s time to review it before it’s too late.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, in a traditional Glencairn, 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.
Sweet, warm and rich. Cherries, There is a slightly vegetal note that comes through. Baking spices, as in stewed apple pie filling. Dried apricots and prunes. A little spirity on the nose (Not surprising for 60.1%).
With water, there is a rich caramel note that emerges. Still spirity.
On first sip, a little hot and spirity. Sweet. Fruity with low pitch notes, concentrated flavours as if the fruits were dried. There is a freshness to it.
Definitely more spirity and spicier with the addition of water. The low pitched dried fruit notes are pushed to the backgroung. Pleasant, but I prefer the taste neat. (20.5/25)
Astringent. Tannic red wine taste that lasts a very long time. A little more peppery with water.
Nice balance. Not too sweet. The nose and palate complement each other.
With water, it becomes a little more unbalanced. Too spicy and less complex. (21/25)
Score: Neat - 90/100 With Water: 87.5 /100
A’Bunadh continues to be one of my favourite whisky expressions. This is one is above average in my opinion.
As per tradition, the review would not be complete without mixing the two batches together.
The warm, sweet richness of the 49 is subdued a bit on the nose. On the palate, the spiciness of the 50 complements the richer dark fruit flavours of the 49.