Today was the first day of my Speyside visit, and I was lucky enough to be invited to look round Aberfeldy on a more private basis.
I arrived at the distillery and was greeted by Jonathan, any one on twitter who has interacted with Aberfeldy will have spoken with Jonathan.. Once the hello’s had taken place I was introduced to George.. Apparently he is one of the ” geek” tour guides .. Not my words by the way.
I was asked where I wanted to concentrate on but I just left that to George. We leisurely walked and talked about the production, the main differences include the 3 day fermentation and the use of 8 wooden wash backs made from Siberian larch, the two wash stills had a capacity of 16600 ltrs. Once we had walked round we headed to the warehouse for the liquid side.. So as we entered what was the warehouse, although no longer actually holding casks of spirit other than what is for tasting, first we sampled a dram that was drawn from cask 47 dating back to 1987, a single bourbon barrel with a cask strength off 54%abv, I will be doing a separate review for this but initial thoughts were.. ” yep this is damn good” lots of character, flavoursome and quite complex” .. Next we sampled both bottle your owns, first was a cask from 2001, cask no 21425, again a bourbon cask, with an abv of 57.6, initial notes were..
Nose.. Fruity sweet with distinct floral notes, lots of honey, caramel, poached pear, subtle spices and gentle oak.
Palate.. More spicy than the nose, lots of fresh fruit and vanilla, caramel and toffee, slight nutty flavour, with a heather honey under note..
Finisk.. Long, spicy and subtle oak.
Next up up was the sherry finished cask, cask no 135, bottled at 55.2%abv..
Nose.. The sherry is very dominant, lots of dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, candied orange, pipe tobacco and liquorice, a sweetness is there with toffee apples, butterscotch and caramel notes in abundance.
Finish.. A medium-long finish with lovely sherry notes right till the end.
Thoughts.. Both these bottle your own expressions are very good, loads of character and big bold notes as well as some very delicate aromas. Both are very well balanced and easily worth the money, £80 and £120 respectively..
I also managed to have a small taste of the new make, at 69% it was very soft and easy to drink, lots of floral and fruity notes mingled in with a malty note that also carried into the palate…
Also tasted was Aultmore 12, Royal Brackla 16, Abrfeldy 21 and Dewars 18… All good malts, a more detailed review for the Aberfeldy 21 and Dewars 18 will follow..
The Aberfeldy is set in lovely surroundings and is a lovely distillery on a nice summer day like today.. If your passing, be sure to pop in and say hi, the team is very friendly and can’t do enough to please..
I would like to say thank you to Jonathan for arranging my visit ant to George for the great tour and tasting, my full appreciation goes out to the team..