"The taste resembles the unlikely title, that I have to give them. But it also tastes extremely young (and spritely) and probably misses some decent cask maturation"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
I first wanted to start this Aberfeldy review series with the 12-year-old, but then I tasted the subject of today’s review and realised that this had to go first. I will not say too much other than that this is about 8 years old and possibly without too much cask influence since its matured in a 2nd fill bourbon cask. I found the following tasting notes from the people at SMWS, which seems to explain the intriguing and slightly off-putting title:
“An intriguingly fruity nose embraced the lime and mint of a refreshing mojito with dried pineapple, sweet orange and fragrant lychee. It became more floral and spicy as a dusting of talcum powder mixed with the invigorating fumes of tiger balm.“
Normally the title and tasting notes from the SMWS are way out of my tasting zone (but I probably also do not smoke the same things as they do). I wonder what I make out of it this time.
From the word go you get an aromatic and sharp scent. It feels very young, without much, if any, cask influence. Clearly a lot of alcohol in the nose. If you do not dive your nose too deep into the glass, you can get a collection of various citrus fruits and (to my suprise) wood. Vanilla, coconut, and pepper, which are often associated with oak extraction. It stays very hot, even with water. However, it also becomes more mint-ish, with mint tea, peppermint, and aniseed. Do I even smell some muscle rub? A positive note: the wood-y notes disappeared by the addition of some drops of water.
A sharp arrival with plenty of alcohol punch, followed by drying tannins from the wood accompanied with coconut and vanilla. This certainly needs water… The alcohol storm lays down, the dram opens up and becomes very minty. Peppermint, tooth paste, mint cocktails, spearmint, mint balm, all cross my mind. I must say it is much better, but it still resembles to me simply, umm, a mixture of mojitos and muscle rub?
I knew it was young, however, but at times I have been surprised by young whiskies (think of Kilchoman, Kilkarran WIP’s, or the soon-to-be-reviewed-here Lagavulin 8). Not this time though. The people at the SMWS selected a 8-year-old that seems to lack any sort of distillery character except from what it received from the cask. A shame, since I do not think this does right to the Aberfeldy distillery. Luckily this bottle has got a secret code…
A sample of this was purchased from
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •