Aberlour 17, 1990 (Blackadder)


After a recently bottled atypical malt to start the week—the new official, peated Balvenie—here is an atypical malt that was bottled just over 10 years ago. It’s atypical because it’s an Aberlour from an ex-bourbon cask. Other than distillery-only bottlings, Aberlour only release sherried malts. Of course, they mature a fair bit in ex-bourbon but it’s to the independents you have to go to taste that spirit. I’ve previously reviewed an older ex-bourbon Aberlour from Exclusive Malts (I quite liked it). This one is from a bottle purchased before that one and finished before I started the blog. The independent in question here is Blackadder. However, this one was not bottled at cask strength (a bit of an anomaly for them) and had no silly bits of char in the bottle. I’d forgotten that I’d ever saved anything from it and found a large reference sample while rummaging through my shelves tonight for something non-sherried and non-peated. Let’s go back in time. Continue reading

Aberlour A’bunadh, Batch 45

Aberlour A'bunadh Batch 45
Having reviewed the Glenfarclas 105 and the Macallan CS, I may as well complete the trifecta of iconic young, cask strength sherried malts from the Speyside. And so here is Batch 45 of the Aberlour A’bunadh (I’m not sure what number the series is up to now). As I noted in the review of the 105, the A’bunadh is very well-loved by whisky geeks—indeed, it’s probably not a stretch to say that it might be one of the most loved of contemporary malts among whisky geeks. Its name comes up seemingly on a daily basis on the Malt Maniacs Facebook page (this is an exaggeration—please do not bother counting) and you can always count on it being mentioned when someone asks for a whisky recommendation on a public forum. Its easy availability and its affordability (in relative terms, not in relation to its age, which is unknown) both probably have something to do with it, but, as I’ve said on a number of occasions, I think the real key is the batch numbering (which make every release limited and “special” and also triggers obsessive compulsive disorder, which whisky geeks are very susceptible to). It’s also, of course, usually quite good.  Continue reading