Time to settle in with another batch of our favorite young cask strength sherry bomb. No sherried malt out there packs anything near the pound-for-pound punch power of a’bunadh.
This whisky, for those not in the know, is Aberlour’s small batch (but likely not as small as in early days, I imagine) beefcake. The distillery releases a few editions each year, of slightly varying strength and quality. The quality variance, in my experience, is relatively small however. I’ve tried many batches, from the early teens through the mid forties, and found them to be remarkably consistent. Yes, there are flavour differences, but those nuances and subtleties are what make the malt beautiful and keep us coming back.
Gaelic for ‘the origin’, a’bunadh is Aberlour’s attempt at producing an old school style malt similar to that which would have been produced in early days. Hence…the origin.
For the newbies out there…this is not liable to be one of the first whiskies you reach for at your local retailer – unless you’ve been doing your homework, that is – but I promise you it will be a game-changer when you do finally grab a bottle. It is immense enough to open up an entire world of possibilities in the whisky world, but also approachable enough that nearly anyone should be able appreciate its sweet, sweet depths.
So let’s check in on a’bunadh. Last batch reviewed was 28. This is 37. Most recent I’ve seen on local shelves is 44. Though I’ve tried many of the other batches, they haven’t been in the right controlled setting suitable for review. No fear though. Many more to come in the future.
Oh yeah…did I mention…at a whopping 60% (give or take) this whisky is always an asskicking heavyweight.
Nose: Gooey, stringy toffee or caramel. Coffee…much like a Caramel Macchiato or something. Figgy. Touch o’ brimstone, if you get my drift. Fudge with a touch of cherry. Oranges. Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg. Oak and honey.
Palate: Unmistakeable. Spicy. Caramelized sugars and deep threads of caramel. Plump figs and other mixed dried fruits. Again a bit of cherry. Alcohol-soaked cherry, that is. Very syrupy. Almost cough syrup heavy. Brazil nut…walnut…hazelnut…or some mix thereof.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt