The Whisky Pilgrimage…Episode 2 – Sherry Matured Selection #1 – Aberlour 10

Sherry Matured Selection #1 – Aberlour 10

The selection of Aberlour 10 as the first Sherry Matured single malt on the pilgrimage should not come as a huge surprise.

The Aberlour 10 is a vibrant, robust young whisky that is loaded with rich flavour. It has been a favourite of mine for a few years now.

A few words on this dram:

– Distilled by Aberlour

– Matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks for min 10 yrs

– Bottled @ 43%

– No mention of chill filtering or artificial colouring, so I assume both methods have been applied with reckless abandon. This ain’t boutique whisky, precious!

Given the budget rules I’ve laid out, it does bear mentioning that you can pick this one up for roughly $32 at Real Canadian Liquor Store locations in Alberta. For the purposes of this exercise I’ll call it $30, leaving me with $120 for two more bottles. I’m satisfied with the purchase knowing that I’ll have a trustworthy bottle on the shelf for the next 3 months at a very reasonable price and have plenty of money available for February & March.

On to the 2nd sampling of the week…

I had originally intended to split this one between 2 glass types (glencairn, riedel, rocks-style) and see what difference glassware might make. Of course, I’d enjoy & type up this post at my leisure.

Life decided otherwise. As my wife headed off to the gym, I finished feeding our daughter who finished her bottle with emphasis and spit up roughly 4 litres of formula. Luckily for the chair & carpet (not so much for the pants) I caught 90% of it in my lap. As you may expect, this left me feeling rather less than fresh. So after I got the poor little girl settled into bed for the evening I did what any self-respecting man would given the circumstances.

I took a nice hot bath.

Laugh if you will, but read on I’ll do my best to justify this behaviour and redeem myself.

I got into the habit of bathing after reading James Clavell’s brilliant novel Shogun. Incidentally, the fella who introduced me to both Shogun AND the Aberlour 10 was none other than ATW photog extrodinaire, Pat. In the book, filthy british privateer John Blackthorne is subjected to “barbaric” Japanese bathing practices. At first Blackthorne believes he will die from daily exposures to fresh water, but he later comes to enjoy his scalding hot daily baths. I can’t do it justice…you won’t regret picking up Shogun, and while I haven’t polled the Liquorature crew for feedback, I can’t see how anybody can read that book and not think “hell, I could go for a bath…a bath with sake!”

Of course, that’s the magic ingredient: Blackthorne’s bath would not be complete without a generous helping of sake. Surely Aberlour 10 is a reasonable substitute?

Into a rocks glass goes 1.5 oz of Aberlour 10. The reasoning behind the rocks glass was that with all the humidity, my nasal passages would be opened wide up and a sniff from the Glencairn would knock me silly.

As it turns out, this probably was the correct decision. I think that combination of humidity, heat, and my overall body temperature all contributed to what was an unusually intense dram of Aberlour 10. The merest sniff of the glass sent vapour rocketing up my nose, scoring a direct hit on the brain. Upon tasting, the flavours of the whisky lit up. It felt as though I was sipping on some premium high-ABV cask strength. The finish left my senses buzzing and I soon found my way to the bottom of the glass.

I was awakened from my sherry coma by the sound of voices out across the backyard. Sure enough, Curt and the MaltMonster were out back on the deck enjoying a cigar and a drink. I arrived to find an empty Glencairn and a bottle of a Laphroaig somthin’ or another (gents, you’ll have to help me out here). It looked very tasty, was well within reach, and the Malt Monster has a well known intolerance for wee pours.

It was very tempting and under any normal circumstances I would have gladly jumped right in. But these aren’t normal circumstances – how pitiful would it have been if whisky pilgrimage entry #2 was “Day 6: Torpedoed my plans. mmmm, Laphroaig!”?

Despite my basic instincts I took a pass on the Laphroaig (sigh!) as a conscious decision to establish my pilgrimage habits. Hopefully, this was the first step towards greater rewards yet to come.

While this has already been an interesting and informative experiment, there’s no point in getting too bogged down looking back on what’s happened so far – plenty of time for looking back as the weeks roll along. Until then, I’m looking forward to my next dram & sharing the results here.


– The Whisky Pilgrim

12 thoughts on “The Whisky Pilgrimage…Episode 2 – Sherry Matured Selection #1 – Aberlour 10

  1. ATW Post author

    Good selection. Not only for those with budget-constraints (real, or imagined, as the pilgrimage dictates), but a truly good whisky for a great price.

    That Laph was Cairdeas. Ileach edition.

    And no, sir…you’ll never convince me to stew myself in the tub.

    1. Clint

      I did a quick Google search and now I know what was haunting me about that Laph…the damned bottle! It’s visually jarring to see that logo on a transparent bottle rather than the old trusty green.

      February is closing in…I need to find selection #2 and would aim to spend around $50. Any reccomendations?

  2. pat

    Nicely done Clint! This has inspired me to pick up a bottle on my way home and to warm my toes in a nice hot bath after working out in the -30C weather.

  3. Maltmonster

    Pilgrimage ………………. A journey or long search made for exalted or sentimental reasons
    Debauchery …………….. Corruption of fidelity; seduction from virtue, excessive indulgence of the appetites .

    Wow , two words with such similar meaning . Found some old Springbank 21 downstairs the other day , interested in helping me polish it off , we could drink it in the hot tub if you like ?

    1. Maltmonster

      No , I would never bath with Curt , word on the street has it he’s unwashed . As a whisky Templar , I was just trying to aid brother Clint on his pilgrimage though the whisky world .

          1. Maltmonster

            You need to clear your mind of impure rum thoughts in order to start down a path that will see your spirits refreshed and then maybe you can start a whisky pilgrimage of your own . ( also your gene pool could use a little chlorine )

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