Thanks to the chaps at Master of Malt for sending me a sample of this to review. It’s the second Aberlour from the range of “That Boutique-y whiskies”. These are whiskies from a single distillery blended by the chaps at Master of Malt and given a boutique style presentation with 50cl bottles and a uniquely designed label.
The Aberlour label contains a picture of the only bar in Aberlour, The Mash Tun. As regular readers will know I’ve just returned from a full week in Aberlour and Mrs Dramstats and I spent 4 nights in the Mash Tun having a good time (I’ll soon be posting a review of the place). Looking at this bottle does put me in mind of Aberlour and of that holiday and so I think the label does its job here.
Here are the dramstats:
- Price £50.95 only from here
- ABV 51.2%
Nose: Custardy vanilla then lovely clean sherry notes with juicy raisins, sultana, muscavado sugar and the classic Aberlour red dessert apple note. This is exactly how I wish a’bunadh could be like again. Rich christmas pudding. The addition of water takes it up another notch with the fruit getting juicier and cinnamon spices coming through and the whole nose becoming sweeter.
Palate: It’s a’bunadh like it used to be, yet even better! An explosion of dark and dried fruit with red apple, cherry, blackcurrant and christmas pudding. There is also a sense of sticky toffee pudding note. In fact this would be the perfect accompaniment to a sticky toffee pudding.
Finish: Some spicy oak muscles in on the fruit and both vye for position, each taking its turn in the lead as the mouth begins to dry leaving a memory of good christmas pudding.
Verdict: I think the general consensus with the whisky bloggers I know is that Aberlour a’bunadh has gone down hill since the early batches. I reviewed batch 42 here and I had a fair few drams of the latest batch 44 in the Mash tun whilst in Aberlour 7 days ago and I agree. The old batches were excellent but, my opinion is that the chaps at Master of Malt have taken it to the next level. This is not a’bunadh, it is a Master of Malt creation. However, it is so evocative of the style and yet so improved it’s almost as if they are saying: “this is how we would do A’bunadh”. It’s easily the best Aberlour I’ve had. The sherry is clean, the nose is delightfully complex and yet unmistakably Aberlour. Yes you get a smaller bottle but I would buy this over any a’bunadh any day. Because of holiday memories, the label only makes me want a bottle more.