This single cask Aberfeldy was distilled in 2001 and spent its life maturing in refill bourbon barrel #21444. Like many distilleries Aberfeldy offers the opportunity to hand bottle whisky straight from the cask to visitors who make a pilgrimage to the home of Dewars. Cask #21444 is one of the hand fills currenttly available at the distillery, making it around16 years of age. It’s bottled at 55.5% ABV.
Nose: A merger of sweetness with wood. Soft vanilla, peaches and apples come together with dessicated coconut and freshly cut wood (all rather evocative of lollipop or choc ice sticks), saw dust and some earthy and grassy aromas. The addition of water brings out the honeyed aromas further and adds very pleasant orange blossoms into the experience.
Taste: Creamy with good texture and body. Honey and vanilla again, but now with much more cask coming to bear – ginger, nutmeg and dusty spices. There’s a slight edge of salinity here which is both interesting, and unusual for an in-land whisky. Water reduces the overall impact of flavour but adds some soft toffee into the palate.
Finish: Medium in length and quite drying. Licks of ginger spice fade at the end.
Aberfeldy 2001 single cask is a very solid and yet somewhat subtle ex-bourbon whisky. Fruits, sweetness and typical bourbon maturation flavours come together in harmony without any individual (oft-times vanilla) taking control of the gathering. It’s surprisingly drinkable at 55.5% - indeed I found little benefit when adding water so would recommend trusting in the cask here and enjoying it just the way it is.
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