In our last review Aultmore 12 Year Old we spoke at length about the Dewer’s family of distilleries. I made the bold statement that Aberfeldy is the poor relation in the family only to be found in supermarkets and Amazon’s Deal of the Day.
Statements which I stand by of course but there is an older Aberfeldy which might be a bit more interesting for the same price as the Aultmore 12. The Aberfeldy 16 Year Old is our subject of today’s entry. Will it prove me right that the Aberfeldy brand is engineered to be less engaging and less exciting than the more premium Aultmore.
The Aberfeldy 16 Year Old is obviously at least 16 years old and bottled at 40% ABV. This is the first negative against the Aultmore. Weirdly, all the official bottles in the range are bottled at the legal minimum for Scotch Whisky. This is kind of crap for the 16 year old but outrageous for the £131 a bottle flagship 21 year old. I mean paying well over £100 for something which is mostly water is insane. With inflation Evian is pretty expensive these days but not to that extent!
Back to the whisky though and it has spent most of its life in ex-bourbon barrels before a finishing period in Oloroso sherry hogsheads. The website is lacking in any kind of information though and rather favours modern pictures and jazzy websites. Which you know is cool…as long as there is some information on why I should buy this and not you know any of the other 1000 bottles on the shelves just now! Unless I have been too negative already and put you off it is widely available for just under £60
Colour – orange glow
Nose – Lots of flavours and bright fruit notes. I might have given it a hard time for the 40% thing but it has no watery notes on the nose. Apples and pears are smothered in runny honey with just a touch of marmalade.
Palate – Of course where you notice the lack of oomph is here. Its a bit flat and engineered. When people talk about “beginner malts” what they mean is there is no surprises. Whisky that tastes like whisky with a nose and palate with sync up perfectly. Therefore, see above for palate notes (only duller but with added malt)
Finish – The finish brings a touch of oak tannin and cinnamon spice. Its quite a short finish though and a touch drying.
So this is decent whisky which no one would be upset to be given a glass of. It isn’t exciting or pressing the boundaries of what whisky is or could be. It is not designed to be that and it does mediocrity very well. The problem then is simply the price at just under £60 you are getting the same experience as the Aberlour 10, Tormore 12 or something similar. The difference is those are half the price for the same experience.