Tag Archives: Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy 16 Review

Distiller: Aberfeldy. ABV: 40% Age: 16 years. Region: Highlands. Price: $70-90.

It’s been a pleasure tasting my way through the John Dewar & Sons’ Last Great Malts lineup over the past year. Craigellachie and Aultmore have been my favorite distilleries of the bunch, with Aberfeldy a close third.

What appealed to me in the Aberfeldy 12 was a good mix of approachability and heft for its age and ABV: 40%, as with the distillery’s other core releases (even, alas, the 21-year-old).

One particularity of Aberfeldy malt is its long fermentation time: 70 hours, as opposed to a more typical 55 or so. This creates more esters in the distillate, which should lead to a fruitier malt.

The 16-year-old Aberfeldy is matured in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks, then finished in Oloroso sherry casks for a “more pronounced sherry accent.”

What’s it like in the glass? I was struck by the bourbon-y notes on the nose–not bourbon-matured single malt, but actual bourbon: Four Roses-esque caramel apple. Sweet leather. Vanilla pipe tobacco. The sherried notes emerge gradually–dried fruits, plum–and are strong on the palate. Raisin bun. Stewed prunes. Cinnamon. The medium-short finish has black tea with raspberry and a touch of oak spice.

I’ll make my usual appeal for another 3-6% ABV, but overall, the Aberfledy 16 is a fine package and a welcome daily drinker for me.

Cheers, friends! -BO

Buy Aberfeldy Whisky online at Mash + Grape

The distiller kindly shared a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.

Aberfeldy 21 Review

Distiller: Aberfeldy. ABV: 40% Age: 21 years. Region: Highlands. Price: $150.

John Dewar & Sons’ Last Great Malts lineup is full of fine drams, among them the wonderfully balanced and satisfying Aberfeldy 12. The current distillery bottlings also include an 18-year-old, and top out with this 21-year-old. How does it stack up?

The word I kept returning to when reviewing the 12 was “irreproachable.” The 21 has the same spirit. It’s malt from a finely judged mix of ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry. It’s every bit as easy to enjoy as the 12. It’s also bottled at the same modest–I’d say too modest–40% ABV.

The nose is pure Christmas. Clove-studded orange. Mulled wine and marmalade. The palate has a honeyed richness and a depth well beyond that of the 12–as one would hope. Ripe fruit and caramel. The finish adds some chocolate, with a pleasant sprinkling of Christmas spice and beautiful singed-orange tannins.

Particularly for less experienced or less thrill-seeking single malt drinkers, those who prefer balance to adventurousness, the Aberfeldy 21 is a can’t-miss. And in terms of price, it’s a fair value for its age–given that no 21-year-old comes cheap anymore.  But for me, when there’s so much to enjoy, it’s hard not to crave a little excess.

Cheers, friends! -BO

Buy Aberfeldy Whisky online at Mash + Grape

Aberfeldy graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.

Feature photo by Instagram user jfruzzetti.

Aberfeldy 12 Review

Distiller: Aberfeldy. ABV: 40% Age: 12 years. Region: Highlands. Price: $50.

With this spectacular shot from our Instagram friend @scotch_doc, our look at John Dewar & Sons’ Last Great Malts lineup continues.

This dram has a close family resemblance to another Last Great Malts release we recently reviewed, the Royal Brackla 12. (Craigellachie, Aultmore, and The Deveron complete the lineup.) Like the Brackla, this Aberfeldy is an immediately appealing, easy-drinking dram with a classic Speyside profile–though the Aberfeldy’s actually a Highland–plus a little something extra. An unexpected heft and meatiness for its mere 12 years and 40% ABV.

Golden baked fruits and orange on the nose, plus…chicken barbecue? Pound cake with whipped cream, topped with raspberries and blackberries. Palate has more baked apple, with a tasty dose of clove and cinnamon. Orange tea bridges to the finish, which has a nice balance of sweetness, spice, and tannins. A touch of fresh leather at the end.

An irreproachable, satisfying first dram of the night, any night–like the Royal Brackla 12. The only objection to these two might be what the ever-eloquent Mark of Malt-Review.com said (referring to the Brackla): “It’s all very Duke and Duchess of Cambridge…no risk-taking as of yet. No shivers down the spine.”

True, but I finish each dram with a smile. Cheers, friends! -BO

Buy Aberfeldy Whisky online at Mash + Grape

The distiller kindly shared a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.