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My first Aberlour and #30 in my own whisky journey. It's also listed in Ian Buxton's 101.
A'bunadh, Gaelic for 'of the origin' is matured exclusively in Oloroso Sherry butts. It is a natural cask strength malt whisky produced without the use of modern chill-filtering methods or the addition of water.
Aberlour A'Bunadh is released in small batches, and the distillery kindly informs us that the flavours may vary slightly from one bottling to another. Reading Jim Murray's 2012 Bible seems to verify the batch variation, but I can confirm Batch 37, bottled at 59.6% is, in my opinion, stunning. I will be interested to read his thoughts next year though!
I love the bottle shape, the support within the tube that carefully cradles the bottle base and the wax seal to the top. I really didn't want to destroy this wax so carefully cut between the top of the bottle and wooden stopper.
With some anticipation I poured the first two drams, one for me and one for my eldest daughter, well it was her birthday!
The deep rich amber liquid filled our Glencairn's and we gently tilted our glasses, rotating them slowly to see the body of the whisky as the 'legs' crawled down the side of the glass. (does anyone know why Jim Murray does not favour the Glencairn ?)
We carefully nosed the dram, being at cask strength we didn't want to anaesthetise our senses with alcohol burn!
A rich and full nose, spices and oranges, the strong thick cut marmalade my Dad favours, Christmas cake, rich dark chocolate and lots of sherry as expected.
The taste was intense, rich and creamy, I love the feel of it rolling over my tongue, the tingling from the alcohol, yet silky smooth, with the dark chocolate again, ginger and the sherry and oak.
The finish was very long and warming, rich and oily, with spices again. The lasting finish being like a clove oil.
We added some water, and the nose opened up, more oranges and almond came through. Obviously lighter, though still creamy and the almonds turn sweeter with a marzipan taste.
I love the nose of the empty glass as the sherry disappears and the malty oak remains, with even a little smokiness.
I've since gone back to it neat as I prefer the cask strength kick. It is in my opinion, a first class batch and I would like to compare this against other batches.