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Aberlour A'bunadh

Batch#36; Hammer of the Gods

0 893

@smokeybarrelsReview by @smokeybarrels

19th Oct 2011

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Overall
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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

First try of the Aberlour A'bunadh and indeed my first ever cask strength-er. Bottle opened and left for fifteen minutes then returned to with the trepidation of a bomb disposal engineer surveying a suspicious package. Was almost tempted to lower a canary into the glass before nosing to gauge the toxicity...

Nose; Neat: Surprisingly nuanced, subtle and delicate- was expecting to have my head blown off at first sniff. Maybe my lack of experience of Cask strength whiskies. Orange peel, marmalade, pre-cooking phase xmas pudding mixture? A teaspoon of water later and sherry and vanilla come through.

Taste; Brandy butter, toffee, oak.

Another teaspoon of water into this measure and the A'bunadh really comes into its own. Aye carumba! Nothing like as aggressive as I expected from the 60% abv. It's smooth, refined and flavoursome, whilst being powerful at the same time. It's also something of a "chameleon"- every time I go back for another taste I get something just a bit different from last time, even if I can't quite pinpoint what that is.

Finish; Long, smooth and robust without being overpowering and unpleasant.

In summary, this is a whisky that really leaves an impression on you, I can't imagine any whisky enthusiast not enjoying giving this one a go. I will definitely be looking to try and get a hold of earlier batches, too. Very, very good.

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8 comments

@IainVH
IainVH commented

Very good review Smokey! saw some of this yesterday on a day out to Chester, wish I'd bought it now! Your description has made me add this to my wishlist. Pre cooking Xmas pudding mix, yummy! Glad you spared the canary or I'd have been ringing the animal welfare people :) We're getting into this review lark now aren't we fella. And unlike me you managed not to offend any Americans, well done!

Go tykes!

7 years ago 0

@sorren
sorren commented

Good review.... As with all A Bunadhs batch 36 packs a punch, typical sherry monster, all those dried fruits making me wish it was christmas, and like you said every time you return to the glass it gives you something different....dont you just love it..

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Great review, and no doubt another great batch of A'bunadh. Many of us can't get enough of this stuff, or sample too many different batches of it. I would describe Aberlour A'bunadh as an exuberant and joyful whisky.

Some of us are more likely to view any whisky sold at UNDER 50% ABV with great caution, if not outright suspicion. The intensity of alcohol greeting varies a lot, and on a subjective basis of what is 'smooth' is not so closely correlated with %ABV as one might suspect. Try some George T. Stagg at 71% ABV. Very smooth, and much smoother and with much less intense subjective alcohol greeting than some whiskies I know at 45%.

7 years ago 0

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

@Victor - How true - thanks for the confirmation. I look forward to considering some of your recommendations.

I have been shock at the 60% A'b giving such a smooth experience - I have had beer and wines that were more rugged than this.... I had a new Uigeadail the other night at 56% that I was trying to figure out whether there was any alcohol in there or not... scary....when do you stop....

7 years ago 0

@PeatyZealot
PeatyZealot commented

Some say its smoky and peaty, while others dont even mention these notes... So is it? And is this one safe to buy if one likes the other Aberlours?

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@PeatyZealot, A'bunadh is safe to buy, but NOT like other Aberlours. I am always amazed at how many absolute first-time drinkers, who are very scared of their first samples of whisky, love it immediately. Yeah, yeah, yeah, not everyone likes A'bunadh...not everyone likes ANYTHING. If you like sherry in your Scotch, don't mind some cask strength non-dilution, and like complexity, you will probably like most batches of A'bunadh.

Is A'bunadh smoky and peaty? If there is appreciable peat and smoke in there I never notice it. Some of the spiciness is smoke-like without being from smoke. It is very complex as it is, with tonnes of flavour without obvious smoke and peat.

6 years ago 0

@PeatyZealot
PeatyZealot commented

Thanx! I do like sherried whiskies... but it does'nt have to be dominant and should be well interwoven in between all other tastes. I like it in Bunna 12 and Laga 16, but I once had a Glendronach that was too much. Guess I prefer bourbon casks just a little more if I look at my favourites. But hey lets look for a sample first and make a judgement after tasting!

6 years ago 0

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

@Gents

Agreed in all points. There is no smoke in A'bunadh. I have had two batchs - and an unopened bottle sitting deep in the recesses of my cabinet - I am targeting 2014 for that....

As to sherry - agreed again - the Glendronch as like "OMFG!!!". However, I have opened up a bit to watered opened sherries as I have opened up to Islay (albeit only one at a time.... Corryvreckan being my current favorite).

Keep the sniffer active (albeit slightly less so to let the tissues recover... the results of continuous straight drinking... but what other kind would we do... ;-) ).

Greg

6 years ago 0

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