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