The Aberfeldy distillery was built a quarter of a mile east of Aberfeldy village by the Dewar brothers. Tommy and John Jnr, to supply fillings for the increasingly successful blends. We’ve had our fair share of Aberfeldy in the past but this new expression, which was introduced only a few weeks ago, is quite special. This 18yo expression has been matured in the finest quality French red wine casks from Pomerol, that were selected to finish the new limited-edition expression, ensuring that the wood complements and elevates Aberfeldy’s distillery character, not mask it. Initially spending 18 years in a combination of Bourbon re-fill and re-char casks, the whisky has undergone a second maturation period of around 4-5 months, adding an extra dimension of flavour.
Pauillac is one of the most sought-after wine regions in Bordeaux, home to world famous wineries, the appellation produces a collection of fine red wines that are unrivalled in terms of quality. Having the deepest gravel in the Médoc, with some chalk and clay, soils and microclimates play a vital role in Pauillac. In Bordeaux, proximity to the river is also all-important. Vineyards located at the river’s edge bask in a microclimate, and this is where the highest quality wines in Bordeaux are found.
On the nose: you’ll get a lovely waft of raisins, dried fruits, a touch of coconut and vanilla. These initial notes are closely followed by cinnamon, mixed spices, pineapple, butterscotch and salty caramel. Notes of crisp red apples, mandarins and hazelnuts start to emerge. Completing the nose are notes of a green herbaceous nature, bitter cocoa, a hint of liquorice and rhubarb. On the palate: those sweet dried fruits and raisins are ever-present, followed by a grape note and vanilla. Notes of cinnamon and mixed spices start to appear, alongside a meaty note. Rounding-off the palate are notes of bergamot, sanguinello oranges, cremé brûlée, aniseed, green herbs, salty caramel, rosemary and a hint of mint. The finish: is medium/long, spicy and sweet, with a lingering star anise, bitter chocolate and a grassy note.
The verdict: The 18yo Aberfeldy is a lovely dram, so when I first heard of this 18yo expression that had been finished in Pomerol casks, I wasn’t too sure about what to expect? This 18-year-old Aberfeldy is a beautiful dram from nose to palate and offers up some lovely, light enticing notes, that are very well balanced. Bottled at 43%, this 18yo expression really doesn’t require any water, however, feel free to add some if required for your taste. Leaving it to breathe for 5 – 10 minutes also yields more notes.
Aberfeldy 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a limited edition and will cost you approximately £95. For more information on this 18-year-old expression, visit the official Aberfeldy website.