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This is cask strength Oloroso Sherry cask matured whisky. This review is of batch # 26.
Nose: moderate intensity, sherry wine, some malt, a little smoke
Taste: walnuts, chestnuts, and sherry, with smoke, mown grass, and rosewater. This is sweet, as you would expect from full sherry cask aging. This is full-flavoured and delicious in the mouth
Finish: sherry flavours remain very long, as does the underlying smoke and the rosewater
Balance: As a lover of enormous flavours in my whiskies I am delighted to find that this A'bunadh does not disappoint in that department. The cult of 'Balance' among malt lovers often means that it is hard to find malts with the enormous flavour statements made by the best bourbon and rye whiskeys. Barley just cannot deliver the intensity of flavours that are delivered by rye and even by wheat. The big flavour, if it is to be there, has to come from somewhere, and it CANNOT come from barley. Sometimes it comes from sherry, sometimes from peat, sometimes from both sherry and peat. It will be a happy day for me when my European friends discover the true joys of the flavours of the grain RYE, which is just as strong in flavour as the heaviest peat or the thickest most chewy sherry, but, for me, at least, the most delicious and complex of the three. This A'bunadh is a great whisky, full blooded and powerful. I very much look forward to trying more batches of it in the future.