Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Aberlour A'bunadh

Rich, warm, sweet caramel that lasts forever...

0 3592

@jdcookReview by @jdcook

28th Oct 2009

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    24
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    92

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is my batch 18 bottle.

The nose is rich and deep, loads of sweet caramel and toffee, with hints of pears, sherry, chocolate, a little spice and a delicate dash of alcohol. With a dash of water the nose opens up, becoming slightly floral, and I get hints of raisins while the alcohol smell dissipates. Genuinely good!

The taste is rich, warm and earthy. I get hit immediately with a spicy, sweet caramel wave which slowly eases revealing a note of alcohol and some hints of toffee as well as dried fruit and nuts. The alcohol taste does disappear with a dash of water, but I personally found that I missed it when it was gone.

The finish is a wave of smoky caramel sweetness, with the chocolate and fruity hints returning. It feels endlessly long and keeps you enjoying for along time. I found that the finish does wane a little with added water.

Initially I preferred the batch 12 (I reviewed that a week or so ago), but over time, mainly because initially the alcohol taste of the batch 18 was a little jarring. The longer it has sat on my shelf, the more I have come around to feeling like I prefer it there, and as a result have ended up enjoying this immensely. That said, when sharing with friends, they tend to split down the middle - some prefer with water, some do not...

Related Aberlour reviews

35 comments

@jdcook
jdcook commented

Officially the 250th review.

Also @galg - this one goes well with dark chocolate... :)

10 years ago 0

@WhiskyOClock
WhiskyOClock commented

My batch 23 at 60.2% is overwhelmed with alcohol burn. I can get a hint at a lot going on under the alcohol, but it just dominates too much to let all the other notes shine. That being said, I really do enjoy this whisky. I am curious to see how future batches turn out.

10 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

How is the batch 23 with a dash of water?

10 years ago 0

@WhiskyOClock
WhiskyOClock commented

Water helps but I find it difficult to get the right amount. Many a time I have put in too much trying to control the burn and ended up with sherry flavored water. So, I have stopped fighting it and just put in a very small amount of water and go for it. It is still very enjoyable, but I just always feel like I am missing out on a lot of layers of complexity lying right under the alcohol.

10 years ago 0

@jeanluc
jeanluc commented

This is next on my list, I'd like to get hold of a bottle from batch 26.

10 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

What is the current batch number?

10 years ago 0

@jeanluc
jeanluc commented

Had a peek earlier this afternoon at a bottle in my local shop, it was Batch 27

10 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

Too many batches, too little time... :p

10 years ago 0

@Glenmax
Glenmax commented

This seems to be popular with all reviewers....I can purchase a bottle of batch 21 for around fifty Dollars American. Think I should go secure it.

10 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

This is still pretty much the king of the special bottlings. You never go astray with the A'bunadh.

10 years ago 0

@Glenmax
Glenmax commented

Purchased and tasted a batch 21.....simply amazing. And although I usually don't, a little water did open up the nose. I may need to secure another bottle so I have this available for some time to come. I love the spicyness of this dram.

10 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

Yeah, every batch is slightly different, but they are all pretty similar, and I haven't met a batch I didn't like yet.

10 years ago 0

@LeBudfrumHull
LeBudfrumHull commented

I've just tried batch 28 and your review describes it perfectly. I tasted this whiskey with friends and the word "amazing" kept coming up. So far it's one of the best single malts I've ever tasted and for what I paid for it, it's without a doubt a great deal... especially when you compare it to how much I paid for another one of my favorites : Lagavullin 16 year.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

The A'bunadh is fantastic, and the king of special bottlings. It is definitely up there in quality and value for money!

9 years ago 0

@cclward
cclward commented

Batch 14 was the most amazing expression , although I have not tasted a bad batch yet. These are awesome

82 dollars a bottle in Newfoundland

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

I don't think batch 14 got to my locale! :( Still plenty of other batches to be had...

9 years ago 0

@WPT
WPT commented

@jdcook With everyone's comments and reviews on this whisky I've got to the plunge and taste this one. I received Aberlour 16yr-dbl-csks and it's intense. Sometimes more than what I'm used to. Anyway does the A'bunadh have a bite and a not so good or bad after taste? It sounds like a serious whisky. Thanks for you assistance.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@WPT - It is a very powerful dram, and some batches do have a bit of alcohol bite, but try it with a nice swig of water, and it really brings out the flavours! It's one of my favourites, and I'm yet to hear of a batch that wasn't great so definitely worth a try.

9 years ago 0

@WPT
WPT commented

@jdcook I'll be picking up a Aberlour A'bunadh (no particular vintage cause they're all good) and Aberlour 12yr old double cask tomorrow Wednesday the 5th. Man, receiving the Aberlour 16yr old double cask Christmas gift is a bit pricey; however, to taste these other Aberlour whiskys it is worth it. I always look forward to tasting a new whisky. Thanks for your help. Oh no, another Aberlour A'bunadh review to come and I'll be glad to offer it up.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@WPT - I'm looking to reading the review!

9 years ago 0

@WPT
WPT commented

@jdcook, @jwise - I'm looking forward to writing this review on Aberlour A'bunadh as well. I'm looking forward as well in writing up a comparison between Aberlour 12yr old double cask and the Aberlour 16yr old double cask. Looking for the sherry influences / persuasions. Afterwards quantify and determine the one that has more sherry influences / persuasions than the other. @jwise - and myself have inquiring minds. I'd be glad to share my results an such with you, if you'd like. This could of bee.n done easier, I guess, via researching the materials of the experts but then, I wouldn't have the fun of tasting an such.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@WPT - It's always good to read the experts, but even better to do your own comparisons!

9 years ago 0

@WPT
WPT commented

@jdcook - @jwise - Being curious, I had to know what the batch# might be when I purchase my 1st bottle Aberlour A'bunadh tomorrow :) A side bar, I haven't been this excited to get something special since I was a kid waiting for Christmas. Life's Good.

I found the current batch#33 at this site: "http//www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-13505.aspx".

This address will take you to the Aberlour A'bunadh page showing the batch#.

Yeah, as for as doing the comparisons, it's going to be fun drinking those two whether I was comparing or not. I'll let you know what final results - @jwise - and I end up with.

9 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

For you A'Bunadh lovers: check out Macallan Cask Strength and Glenfarclas 105. They seem to be in the same vein as the A'Bunadh (the Macallan being somewhat cheaper, the Glenfarclas being a bit more).

9 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

@WPT: I picked up an Aberlour 10yr the other day. It is very similar to the 12yr, but you can tell the whisky is a bit immature (not as smooth as the 12yr). I'm not saying you have to find it to taste as well, but.... ;)

9 years ago 0

@dbk
dbk commented

@jwise, some of us have indeed checked out the Macallan Cask Strength and, like you, thought it was a natural comparison to make: connosr.com/reviews/macallan/…

Admittedly, while very good, I have not found as much to love about the Macallan Cask Strength or the Glenfarclas 105 as the A'bunadh. Interestingly, the price points are exactly reversed in Ontario: the Macallan is a bit more expensive than the A'bunadh, the Glenfarclas somewhat cheaper than both.

9 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

Interesting about the pricing! If Mac CS was more, I would definitely drink the A'Bunadh. When it comes time to replace, I usually just get the cheaper of the three. So far, it has always been the CS. I think I'll get the A'Bunadh this next time, even if it is more.

9 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

I found the A'Bunadh for less than the Mac CS today, and so I finally brought a bottle home! It is from Batch 21, which (after getting home with it) I found out is not one of the best batches (at least as far as my tastes go). Grrrrr! Oh well. I'll have to crack it open and see how it is one of these nights. As for right now, I am enjoying a pour of Glenfarclas 15yr!

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@jwise - even the worst A'bunadh is still excellent. I'm sure you will find a way to enjoy it appropriately... ;)

9 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

Here's what was said about the Batch 21: "It's nice but not as good as the more sherry-like ones I think."

and, "very dry and thin compared to other batches."

Dang! I love me some sherried whisky, and I'm not a fan of anything "dry" or "thin"! Oh well. This is why I thought about typing up all the tasting notes of the various batches, just to carry around with me to the shops! I did find a batch 18 bottle, which is the one you reviewed here.

9 years ago 0

@Pierre
Pierre commented

@jwise I haven't tasted batch 21 but, if you are looking for a sherried whisky, even the least sherried A'bunadh is not going to disappoint you! Trust me my friend until you've tasted A'bunadh you don't even know what sherry is ;)

9 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

And this is why I put off getting into A'Bunadh: too many batches and I have a very "collecting" personality! I'm going to want to collect each batch I can find, just to compare and contrast them all!

9 years ago 0

TheLaird commented

Batch 38 was perfection. If only one knew before the end of the bottle that it would be impossible to buy again!

5 years ago 0

@sorren
sorren commented

The abunadh range are just fantastic, I like the fact there are subtle changes between each batch,

4 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

My favourite batches up until now have been the 44 and 33. I have tried about 6 other batches and they have been from good to very good. My least favourite was the 36, then the 38.

When I started drinking whisky I could go through more than one bottle a year so I really stocked up. now I have 3 batches open and one opened over a year and a half ago.

I don't know if I'll be able to continue the opening of one bottle a year. I have a 47 for next year but no 48 (Since I synchronized at age 44 I open on or after the corresponding birthday to the batch), and a 49 and a 50 (held by a "colleague"). I have other unopened bottles from earlier should I run out

If I win the election I will open a 42 to celebrate (not only is 42 the answer to life the universe and everything but it is the 42nd parliament) and bring it with me to Ottawa.

4 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in