Aberlour 18 years

"Aberlour's pride with age statement, which nosed younger, but caught up on the early palate"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Part of the standard range of Aberlour, which has  become one of the most famous distilleries from Speyside since they released their A’bunadh range. Apparently, the end of this year we might be able to find the bourbon version (alba) in Europe’s stores. That is, if we are fast enough, because we can be sure it will fly out of them. We’ll be focussing today on one release that does have an age statement, the 18 year old. While it used to be a nicely priced well-aged whisky, they sneaked 20 cl out of it and sell it now as 50cl bottles (for almost the same price). However, if you look good enough, you can still find its bigger predecessor. 

Nose

Start off with lots of apple cider, which transform into copper, light sherry, fudge, caramelised sweet pears, raisins and hints of tanned peaches. It really gets sweeter after an initial fruity, and supposedly young, nose. Feels much more mature now. Some spicy notes from the wood come up to  back up the fruity ones. In the development vanilla (cake) arises and faint hints of coconut. Luckily the wood does not stand in the way of the pleasantly springlike freshness. I also get some wine-y notes, like some fresh and slightly spicy Gewürztraminer. Good balance with more apples and pears, now in the form of grandma’s apple pie with cinnamon, nuts and raisins, and wine-cooked pears. A second time also brought fudge, raisin cake and grape juice.

Taste

Fresh and fruity with green apples, freshly peeled pears, brown sugar, apple pie with raisins, and a few nutty notes. The apple pie note is pretty persistent, while the wood is initially more subdued then in the nose. A faint hint of white pepper and a somewhat stronger hint of cinnamon rolls. Probably more like cinnamon sugar. The wood influence becomes stronger with more spices, hints of dark forest fruits, raisin cake and red wine. The aftertaste is rather short and filled with apple pie, raisins, cider and lightly spiced woody notes.

Overall

This is not a bad whisky, for sure, since it contains many nice balanced flavours. I guess it just does not really do it for me, which I had with other Aberlour expressions. A personal thing, which everybody has with some well-known names that others find thrilling. The nose felt reasonably young to me (I tasted it blind) and I was fairly surprised by the actual age. The palate feels more mature, but does not completely convince me in the aftertaste.

What others say

Whiskybase: 85.55 (10 votes) * Serge Valentin @Whiskyfun: 86/100 * @WhiskySaga: 84/100 * @Whiskyphiles: 88/100
Read for yourself

This sample was part of organised by Norbert Terbarts!

Scores

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

Cask influence
55%
Sweet <-> Spicy
55%
Nose 85%
Taste 83%
Balance 85%
Depth 82%
Finish 83%
Score