This review is on a great supermarket favourite. This one is always on special offer and at the promotional price is it really possible to get better value for money?
Aberlour distillery sits in the village of Aberlour at the base of Ben Rinnes. It was originally built by James Fleming in 1879 but was badly damaged and required to be rebuilt in 1898.
During the second world war like all the distilleries in Scotland the distillery closed its doors. There was a shortage of men and materials to produce new make spirit. There was however a small amount of illegal distillation going on using wash smuggled into the distillery under the cover of darkness.
The distillery has been owned by Pernod Ricard since 1974 who have invested greatly in increasing production with the addition of a second pair of stills. The entire internal production method is very modern at Aberlour with stainless steel washbacks and mash tun. They have a large variety of expression’s on the market all with a sherry influence to some degree.
One of the stand out expressions which is synonymous with Aberlour is A’bunadh. This is a cask strength whisky using only sherry casks and made in relatively small batches. The idea of A’bunadh is to hark back to the traditional style of whisky and is supposed to be a tribute to James Fleming the original owner of Aberlour. There has been over 60 batches so far and they seem to show no signs of slowing down the releasing of new ones. They represent excellent value as well at around the £40 mark so do not let the marketing story put you off.
The Aberlour 12 Double Cask presented at 40% ABV is a vatting of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks which have been matured for at least 12 years. The ratio of bourbon to sherry casks is not known. However, what is know, is that this particular bottling has been chill filtered. Aberlour do a 12 year double cask which has not been filtered however they, very disappointingly, also changed the cask recipe for that bottling. What that means is you cannot do a direct comparison on the difference chill filtration does to your whisky. Not scientifically at least but all the reviews I have read indicate the NCF version is a better quality product. The colour of this also makes me think it has colouring added which is fairly common within the Pernod Ricard lineup.
My bottle was on offer at £25 but for those outside the UK it is available here.
Colour – Tango
Nose – sweet and zesty. sharp oranges
Palate – thin mouthfeel and more freshness. A sweet fruit profile with a creamy milk chocolate
Finish – The finish brings in spices and a little of the dry earthiness you might expect from sherry matured whisky
This is a nice gentle whisky. There is nothing offensive or harsh but it is very sweet so those who are not blessed with a sweet tooth should look at other bottles in the range. The value for money at supermarket prices though is very much unrivaled in the sherried whisky department at least.
I am keen to pick up the 16 year old double cask now to see how the extra few years of maturation has developed the complexity of the whisky. It too is competitively priced at £45 but never on offer sadly. Of course, you can bet your last pound the second I make a purchase the next week it will be on special.