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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

February 19, 2014


Some Aberfeldy today

The Midlander Aberfeldy is usually a rather light malt but the owners seem to be willing to launch punchier – and more limited – versions these days. We’ll have one today but first, a recent bottling of the regular 12…

Aberfeldy 12 yo (40%, OB, +/- 2013)

Aberfeldy 12 yo (40%, OB, +/- 2013) Two stars and a half I've tried the 12 last time in 2009? I liked it but it wasn't big (WF 79). Colour: gold. Nose: mild and round. Honey, nectar, roasted nuts and a little white chocolate, then more apple compote, sweet cider and barley. It’s fresh, barleyish and seemingly quite harmless. Everybody should rather enjoy this light and honest nose. Mouth: it’s the low strength that makes it a little too light, because what’s ‘inside’ is pleasant, malty, honeyed and nicely fruity. Apple pie, custard, marmalade, maple syrup, a little Ovaltine… It’s actually maltier than I remembered. Finish: a little short, with a feeling of caramelised beer and roasted peanuts. Comments: I won’t change my score, because of the lightness, but the core is enjoyable. One of the malts that hint at good blends in my opinion. SGP:441 - 79 points.

Aberfeldy 16 yo 'Ramble' (56%, OB, 643 bottles, 2013)

Aberfeldy 16 yo 'Ramble' (56%, OB, 643 bottles, 2013) Four stars and a half The label has been designed by Glasgow based artist David Galletly. I think he's talented. Colour: dark amber. Nose: cocoa, soot and ashes, this is very different. It’s actually immensely chocolaty and it’s only after a good fifteen seconds that stewed fruits and prunes and blackberry jam start to show up. Also something frankly metallic, in a good way. Old tin boxes full of chocolate-coated prunes. With water (while it became as opaque as milk): spicy raisins, ginger and crystallised oranges everywhere. Mouth (neat): very spicy, rich, coating, extractive and kind of oriental. Sweet curry, ginger sauce, gingerbread, raisins, honey and mustard sauce… I’m sorry if that sounds unlikely, because it’s not. This works! Probably some very active oak involved. With water: same profile, just easier and maybe fruitier. A lot of bergamots and kumquats. Finish: long, fruity and spicy. Oranges. Reminds me of some Christmas Stolle or of some artisan Panettone. Love that. Comments: you can feel the oak and the technology, but this baby just gets you. Well done Aberfeldy. SGP:552 - 88 points.

That one was much to my liking, let’s try to find a much older, and more traditional Aberfeldy in WF’s library, but one that would bear a similar age… (rummage rummage)… maybe this?

Aberfeldy 17 yo 1978/1995 (57.9%, Cadenhead's Authentic Collection)

Aberfeldy 17 yo 1978/1995 (57.9%, Cadenhead's Authentic Collection) Two stars This one could be quite brutal… Colour: straw. Nose: wah. It’s the kind of extreme nose that only this series could display at the time, or maybe a few Rare Malts or Manager’s Drams (Mannochmore at 66% vol., anyone?) Squeezed grapefruit skins and crushed chalk, grass, bread and plasticine. Do you get the idea? With water: no no no, that doesn’t work, unless you’re passionately fond of new leatherette. Mouth (neat): extremely acrid and sharp, on concentrated lemon juice, grass juice and putty/plasticine. A pinch of icing sugar. Frankly, this is almost lemon juice. Totally naked whisky. With water: no again. Can you distil plasticine? Finish: long, on the same notes, although the lemon’s having the upper hand, which is great news. Comments: spectacular ultra-grassy and lemony malt, tinged with leatherette and plasticine. Very, say ‘experimental’, which makes it interesting. In a way. SGP:471 - 72 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Aberfeldy I've tasted so far







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