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Aberlour A'bunadh

A faithful friend

5 089

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

4th Mar 2024


Aberlour A'bunadh
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

As most of you know by now, I have liked Aberlour A’Bunadh from the outset of my whisky journey which began in earnest in 2011. In the early years I would buy at least one of every batch that I could get my hands on. This led to a very unbalanced collection. I used to get through at least one bottle per year, but as the breadth of my experience and my open cabinet has grown, my consumption of A’Bunadh has declined. I stopped buying every batch, and would only open a bottle when I reached the corresponding age to the batch number. When I turned 54 last year in April I opened this bottle, and it is still 2/3 full. The next batch I will age into is 65. If I hear of a batch 80 I may try to pick that up . In the meantime I have a lifetime supply of earlier batches to go through.

One of my friends, who was part of my original tasting club, took a liking to A'Bunadh when we first tasted it, and it has remained his favourite scotch. Sadly, at a very young age, he was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer 3 years ago, just before the birth of his daughter. I visited him in the hospital today and it’s unclear whether he will bounce back from his latest setback. So in his honour I am reviewing batch 54 today.

This expression is reviewed in a Brilliant Highland Whisky Glass in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.

Nose: 22/25

Rich sherry monster. Black cherry, hint of leather polish, baking spices. Warm, heavy syrup. With water the nose becomes more layered, more interesting. (22.5/25)

Taste: 22/25

Warm, sweet arrival. Rich, spicy, slightly spirity. Thick oily mouthfeel. Spicier with water, the flavour explodes more on the palate. Hints of dark dried fruits become more prominent. (22.5/25)

Finish: 21.5/25

Astringent, slightly peppery, medium long.

Balance: 22/25

The nose and palate complement each other. Well-balanced. Water creates a richer, more powerful experience. (22.5/25)

Score: Neat - 87.5/100 With Water: 89/100

The friends I currently taste whisky with, when we are able to get together, expose me to some of the finest spirits that I could ever hope to taste. It makes some whiskies that many would consider special treats seem bottom shelf compared to them. But it’s important to bear in mind that there are some high volume and high quality affordable and accessible bottles out there.

Aberlour A’Bunadh continues to be one of the most reliable cask strength sherry monsters available. This batch is no exception. I know I went overboard when I was accumulating bottles early in my journey but my lifetime (and beyond) supply of A’Bunadh leaves me with no regrets.

My only regret is that I can’t share this batch, or any other, with my good friend. I will continue to hope for good news and hope for the best for him and his family.

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