And here finally is my review of the last of the samples I got from a big bottle split of K&L’s single casks from late 2020. A bit of a miracle really that I actually reviewed them all in 2021. Next month I’ll start on some of the 2021 casks. The penultimate review from this lot was posted on Monday. That was a nine year old Linkwood that really surprised me with its mix of fruit and oak. That was from a refill bourbon barrel. This Aberlour is a fair bit older at 25 years of age and despite what the sample label says it’s not from a sherry butt. I’ve not seen the bottle myself but the label on Whiskybase clearly indicates that it’s a refill hogshead and there’s no sign of it being a sherry hogshead—which you’d expect would be touted by any indie bottler. K&L’s own marketing spiel for this one was unusually reserved, by the way: not a single store employee can be found here waxing poetic about its qualities. And just in case you think it’s only sample bottles that have inaccurate information, the K&L text says 184 bottles came out of the cask but the bottle label as seen on Whiskybase notes it produced 211 bottles. Lots of confusion all around. Anyway, let’s see what the whisky itself is like.
Aberlour 25, 1995 (58.4%; Old Particular for K&L; refill hogshead 14246; from a sample swap)
Nose: Well, the nose most prominently indicates that it was matured in oak…there’s toasted oak and cereals and a note of walnut skins. On the second sniff there’s citrus (somewhere between lemon and orange). Gets very fruity here too fast with the berries from the palate jumping out along with a touch of passionfruit. A few drops of water and the fruit expands (apricot now) and the oak turns more polished than toasted
Palate: Comes in big and fruity with lots of sweet lemon and berries; the walnut skins are behind. The toasted oak gives excellent support. Rich texture and highly approachable at full strength. Gets richer with time—orange peel, apricot. Okay, let’s add some water. It brings out more oak here as well but it’s still in very good balance with the fruit.
Finish: Long. All the good stuff from the palate eases out slowly with the oak getting the last word. Some dark chocolate here too. A slight leafy note with time. More lemon here with water and the bitter chocolate expands.
Comments: Well, as it happens, there are definitely notes here that are reminiscent of sherry cask maturation—the walnut skins on the nose and palate, the chocolate on the finish. Who knows, maybe it was aged mostly in bourbon and then finished in sherry. Or maybe the hogshead was made from staves from older casks that included some sherry butts. Mostly, it tastes like a fruity whisky aged for a long time in a very good cask. And that’s a very good thing. Just a little more development or a little more fruit and this would be in the next tier.
Rating: 89 points.
EW! Rating: 150/100 points