Distiller: Aberlour. Age: 12 years. 48% ABV. Region: Highland. Price: $50.
One answer to an unseasonably chilly evening: the marvelous Aberlour 12 Non Chill-Filtered. First had this when I was a peat freak, turning my nose up at anything that wasn’t Octomorish. This changed it all.
The standard Aberlour 12 is too mild-mannered to stand out from the crowd, especially at a mere 40%, but the 48% NCF makes all kinds of things pop.
Beautifully perfumed nose. Malt, stewed pears, brown sugar, a wisp of peat, and allspice in such perfect harmony it’s a minor miracle. On tongue there’s rich oily sherry, baked apples, and cinnamon, with a long finish. Hints of the A’Bunadh character, but far milder and more refined. My shelf’s got room for them both.
Let’s hear it for the Highlands! – BO