Google Young Aberlour old and new

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

October 1, 2022





Angus's Corner
From our correspondent and
skilled taster Angus MacRaild in Scotland
Young Aberlour:
old and new
I don't try Aberlour as often as I'd like to, and I have a couple of youthful examples on the tasting desk so why not a quick pair of youngsters with old bottling vs new.


Aberlour 5 yo 'Pure Malt' (40%, OB, 1980s)

Aberlour 5 yo 'Pure Malt' (40%, OB, 1980s)
There seems to have been many, many random variations and versions and age statements of distillery Aberlours during this era. Quality is highly variable in my experience. Colour: gold. Nose: sultanas and golden syrup on the one hand, mashy cooked grains on the other. A yin and yang kind of nose so far. You can also add some malt syrup, slightly sweetened breakfast cereals and sweetish old style beers and ales. Not bad. but not stellar by any measure. Mouth: hmm, a tiny soap note threatens things from the off. But there's some sweet biscuits, some ales, breads and still these cooked and mashy cereal notes. Not great if I'm being honest. Finish: pretty short and with some notes of flat beer. Comments: it was going ok until that vague soapy note on the palate. Youth + caramel + heavy filtration + 40% ABV does not for a winning cocktail make in this instance.  There are many vastly superior contemporary Aberlours to be enjoyed out there.

SGP: 541 - 69 points.



Aberlour 7 yo (54.0%, Dram Mor, cask #800914, Portuguese red wine finish, 328 bottles)

Aberlour 7 yo (54.0%, Dram Mor, cask #800914, Portuguese red wine finish, 328 bottles)
Portuguese red wine finish. Are there four more terrifyingly ordered words in the English language? Now, Dram Mor seem to have a knack for very clever flash-finishes like this so let's keep a wide open mind please… Colour: straw. Nose: youthful, rather sharp and slightly acidic, maybe even red fruit acids, but that could be my mind playing tricks. I also find it a little teaish and biscuity. With water: improves, gets more floral and goes towards some decent mirabelle eau de vie in style. Young but good spirit in other words. Mouth: not too sure about this, I find it clean enough but a little green and sappy and astringent. Some nice notes of pears and lemon cough drops though. With water: this sense of tea and biscuits is back, a little vase water, some mashed potato, slightly funny now really. Finish: medium in length, vase water again, a little sooty and some more of these slightly acidic fruit notes. Comments: quite a funny whisky, certainly better than the old 5yo, but still a little unlikely in my view. A fine candidate for ice and soda come the sunshine months.

SGP: 441 - 76 points.



Bonus: I just remembered I have this bottle knocking about on a shelf…



Aberlour 10 yo 1990/2000 (62.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society 54.14)

Aberlour 10 yo 1990/2000 (62.9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society 54.14)
Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: hay, barley, lemongrass, crushed green herbs, handfuls of milled grist, oatcakes etc. Raw, pure and completely stark naked malt whisky. Once again it makes you think of certain plum eau de vies, just without the same assertive fruitiness. But it's certainly rather charming within this very naked profile - makes you think of many similarly raw old Cadenhead AC bottlings. With water: hello? Seems to flatline a little, some carbon paper, ink and wet ferns perhaps. Mouth: indeed, petrols, crushed flower stems, chopped parsley, mineral oils, shoe polish and hints of caraway and fennel seed. With water: at its best here I would say, fatter in texture, barley extracts, mineral oils, shoe polish and touches of darjeeling tea. Finish: medium, slightly hot and peppery, hints of clay and plasticine too. Extremely austere malt whisky. Comments: from an era when indy bottling had terrific highs, some extreme lows and rather a lot of this kind of thing which probably should instead have been tipped into a blend. Perfectly fine if you like them this raw, petrolic and austere, but otherwise completely unessential.

SGP: 351 - 77 points.



Tough session today! But I still love Aberlour.




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