My third bottle opened from the SMWS (I finished it at the weekend) is a 16 year old Aberlour matured for most of it's life in a refill bourbon cask and then moved to a heavily charred hogshead for the last couple of years.
Heavily charred casks have become de rigeur with Scottish distilleries lately. There use is trumpeted as something wonderfully innovative but my thoughts are that the truth is more likely that most of the time they are used to try to compensate for a lackluster initial maturation due to the spirit being put in a tired third or forth refill bourbon cask.
Anyway onto the whisky.
A lot of vanilla. A little spice. Peaches.
Not a lot that wasn't revealed on the nose. Vanilla, peaches, apricots, marzipan, spices and oak. Decent oily mouthfeel.
Quite long and drying.
Not a bad whisky by any stretch but not spectacular either. Feels a bit undermatured to me. Still quite spirit driven even at 16 years where you expect the cask to start calling the shots a bit more. If I'd have blind tasted this and been asked to guess the age I'd have said 12 years not 16.
I can see why Aberlour like to use Sherry casks. The sprit is quite light and with the balance of a sherry cask influence it would have taken on more depth and complexity. And then you get the Abunadh which everyone loves! As it is it lacks a bit of depth and complexity for my tastes.