Aberfeldy 2001 Single Bourbon Cask

"Well this is something else from Aberfeldy. A vibrant dram with lots of acidity and spices, with the buttery notes trying to keep the feeble balance"

(Photo from The Dramble)

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Although Aberfeldy is not a well-known distillery, it has been around since 1898 and the only distillery built by the Dewar family, close to the house where founder John Dewar was born. One of the reasons for its unfamiliarity is that most of its spirits have been used from the Dewar’s blends. After switching owners a couple of times, Dewar’s bought Aberfeldy back from Diageo in 1998, and soon introduced the 12-year-old single malt to the market. A few years back, Dewar’s updated its single malt range and introduced a new old-school-looking design of the range, among extending the range to older versions. Aberfeldy is now also home to the Dewar’s World of Whisky, a visiting centre for everything on Dewar’s malt and blended whiskies. Most of the spirit at Aberfeldy is matured in bourbon casks, however, some sherry casks are used, as we have seen in a recent Aberfeldy tasting.

Nose

A very potent nose. Lots of orange skin bitterness combined with butter and a slightly cheesy scent. The bourbon cask influence is all over the nose, however, I still detect some of the distillery’s character, albeit not much. Water add s some nuts, but not much else. I think it stays rather simple.

Taste

A bitter arrival with orange skin, which is quickly balanced by lots of buttery things. Think of butterscotch, shortbread, croissants and cake. There is a considerably welcome sweetness. Water takes it more to the toffee side, makes it smoother. Sandal wood, rice pudding, cream cheese, apples and a few drops of lemon juice. The finish is spicy with cloves, ginger and more orange skin.

Overall

This is the complete opposite of the 12-year-old from a previous review. So much more potency and vibrancy, maybe even too much. Having this after the 12-year-old is probably not fair, but it shows that if Aberfeldy would find a balance between the vibrancy of this and the smoothness of their standard range, it might actually result in a high quality whisky. We’ll have another go at a sherry cask too see if they achieved a better equilibrium there.

What others say

Whiskybase: 85.00 (3 votes) * @Thewhiskyphiles: 87/100 * @Thedramble: 85/100
Read for yourself

A sample of this kindly provided by for the Twitter Tasting

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
75%
Peat/smoke
0.5%
Nose 80%
Taste 83%
Balance 81%
Depth 83%
Finish 84%
Score