The Whisky Pilgrimage…Episode 4 – Sherry Matured Selection #1 – Aberlour 10

Try It And You May, I Say…


I’m sitting down, relaxing, and enjoying what will most likely be the last of my solo Aberlour 10’s. I will soon be making my way to a liquor store to pick up another sherry matured whisky, at which point I’m going to have a few more options. In the meantime, I’ll catch you up on the last week or so.

To begin, it has only now occurred to me that I have not provided a proper set of notes for the Aberlour 10. So, here goes:

•In many ways, the nose on the Aberlour 10 reminds me of wine – there are a lot of heavy, earthy fruit tones

•These same notes are also prevalent on the palette. Along with the fruit comes some sweetness I would best describe as brown sugar

•The finish on this whisky does not linger terribly long in terms of flavour, but it is pleasantly warming

•This whisky is “compact” and dense. It’s a tasty, straightforward drink that is perfectly suited as an everyday dram but it doesn’t have an overwhelming oomph.

Our Liquorature gatherings typically fall on the last Friday of every month. About one week prior the e-mail starts to fly and by the time that we’re 3-4 days out, we’re behaving like children counting down the number of sleeps to Christmas Eve. It’s always a damn good time, and just the medicine most of us need by the end of the month.

As I was getting ready for bed on Thursday night, I decided that I was going to do something on Friday to treat myself. Per the pilgrimage rules I still had one of my 2x weekly drams left, but since there’s no shortage of great whisky on Liquorature nights, I didn’t see any sense in drinking what would be a forgettable dram of Aberlour 10. However, we did have some nice tenderloin steaks in the freezer. What the hell, why not? So into a little ziplock container goes one of the steaks and 1.5 oz of Aberlour 10.

By Friday afternoon, I was giddy with anticipation…as if Liquorature itself wasn’t enough to look forward to, now I have this badass steak just begging to be cooked up. Once arriving home from work I dashed directly to the fridge, stopping just long enough to give a cursory hello to my wife, kids, and a friend who was over for dinner.

I lifted the lid and goddamn…had I not known any better, I could have sworn that my steak had spent 18 hrs+ marinading in paint thinner. Without a doubt this is the worst “whisky” I have ever had the misfortune of sniffing. Take a look at Curt’s tasting notes for the McClellands, and imagine you’ve been a dram of that served out of a used jerry can. Absolute foul shit.

While I should have known better I clung pathetically to hope that all the good stuff had ended up in the steak. It’s only natural that tenderloin – being a particularly choice cut of steak – would be a culinary equivalent of an alchemist’s crucible and that my brilliant plan to combine the tenderloin & Aberlour 10 would result in magical transformation.

Again, I was dead wrong. Thankfully the green peppercorn sauce would be enough to mask the nasty flavours locked within my abomination of a steak.

Our Liquorature gathering kicked off about an hour later and I had soon forgotten about the vile “food”. As always we had a great time, and towards the end of the evening the topic of this pilgrimage was raised. Most were just interested to hear what I was doing, but Lance upped the ante (as is his style) and hit me with a challenging question: “what’s the point?”. I was able to rattle off a few generalizations – want to try new things, hone my appreciation by setting some limits – but I was not particularly satisfied with my answer.

One cannot wander the wilderness in perpetuity, so I have pondered Lance’s question and think that I have an answer worth sharing. In my present mode I’m certainly enjoying myself but it’s been easy – do some fun stuff, goof around, have some laughs. Unless I challenge myself all I will accomplish is to broaden the very rut I was trying to escape. It would be a shame if I don’t anything to show for my efforts at the end of the year. For this reason I’m going to be setting some goals for myself throughout the year.


Revisit the top of this post – honestly, these are some pretty pathetic notes. No vocabulary, no cohesive thought…just some stuff. “The finish on this whisky does not linger terribly long in terms of flavour, but it is pleasantly warming” is the whisky review equivalent of “Richard seized her with his powerful, masculine hands and tore off her bodice”. While I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to write with the same sort of clarity and passion as Curt & Lance do in their reviews, I can do a good measure better than the hubris I “wroted” in this post. So, challenge accepted! Let’s see how these notes develop.

And fear not…while this particular foray into the (Dark) Culinary Arts backfired, there has been successes. I’ll post something more palatable in the next few weeks.

Until then, cheers!


– The Whisky Pilgrim


1 thought on “The Whisky Pilgrimage…Episode 4 – Sherry Matured Selection #1 – Aberlour 10

  1. Ruminsky Van Drunkenberg

    Actually, I think your perspective is an interesting departure from the norm, and tends more towards the stream-of-unconsciousness-as-I-drink style. What’s wrong with that? The world is full of tasting notes.

    So now here’s something completely different, much as the Maltmonster does with his tastings. Pretty cool.

    …and if you can work Star Trek, pro wrestling and Mandingo in there, I’d say you really have something


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