Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
My first A'bunadh tasting: Batches 38 and 41 were what I could get my hands on. They are differentiated in the following, since that appears to be important.
First vapor: Caramel and leather, spectacular and sweet. But this seems to dissipate fairly quickly.
Nose: Not where it shines (unless a little water is added): After the first breathing, the nose becomes weak and it can be hard to differentiate the fragrance from the alcohol burn. No 38: Light toffee and orange rind with peach and some deeper creaminess.
Water brings butter to the toffee. No. 41: Same, but with less cream and more spicy and flowery potpourri. Water seems to bring some cream and ginger; more kills the spice and brings cashew and butter.
Palate: No. 38: Best described as serious toffee waves: powerful sweetness-- even becoming sour in its sweetness-- vying to dominate some oak and salt. Creamy vanilla cashew with brown sugar. Water deletes those powerful waves and brings strawberry and then orange, hinting at peach. No. 41: Same, but more candy at first, and then more honey and flowery. Water has the same effect but brings out nuttier tones.
Finish: No. 38: Brown sugar and oak wood; maybe a little honey and ginger. No. 41: Salty cashew and vanilla-- and again oak wood, but it gives more an impression of potpourri and hot cinnamon.
I love the high cask strength (in small sips, if that is worth mentioning), which brings such intense flavors that I find myself craving. The two batches had the same overall character of strong caramel; they differed mainly in their extents of orange/potpourri vs. cream/nut. The addition of water brought a creamier character, softening any sour/bitter characteristics, especially for the 41 batch; but of course it douses some of intensity of flavor that make a unique experience.