Aberlour Scotch Whisky Reviews

Aberlour is a Speyside* distillery built in 1879 by its founder, James Fleming, who spent the previous 10 years working at the very nearby Dailuaine distillery.  Currently owned by Chivas Brothers, it is located at the confluence of the rivers Lour and Spey.   According to Aberlour, the location was chosen for its “sure supply of pure spring water that flowed over the pink granite of Ben Rinnes [a mountain in Moray, northern Scotland] . . .”

Aberlour

[*Aberlour describes itself as a “Highland” Scotch producer, although it technically lies in the Speyside sub-region within the Highlands.]

After hearing many great things about their lineup of Scotches, and my love of other Speyside Scotch, I thought it was time we set up a tasting.  I called fellow Flight Club members Scott Hill and Jay Cary for their assistance as we tried three of their most popular offerings side-by-side –  the 12-year Double Cask, 16-year Double Cask and the A’Bundah cask strength. As you can see below we were not disappointed.


Aberlour

Aberlour 12-year Single Malt Scotch, Double Cask (American Oak, and Sherry) (80 Proof)

Nose:   Brown sugar; raspberry and plum; soil, mineral and earth; chocolate; sherry sweetness; plantains; a hint of sea salt.  Rich and inviting.  (3.5/5)

Palate:  Vanilla; hints of caramel, honey and oak.  Light and thin.  (2/5)

Finish:  Short to Medium.  Salty, with lingering hints of tree fruits. (3/5)

Overall:  The Aberlour 12 is slightly underwhelming based on the depths of the nose, but a good entry level Scotch and very typical of other Speyside offers.  But at 12 years, you would hope for a little more on the finish.  (3/5)

Value:  At around $40 a bottle it is a good value. I would buy again.  (3/5)

“The Aberlour 12 is slightly underwhelming based on the depths of the nose . . .”

Aberlour


Aberlour

Aberlour 16-year Single Malt Scotch (American Oak, and Sherry) (86 Proof)

Nose:  Ocean smells of sand, seaweed and salt; plums, red apples and rhubarb; sugar in the raw; honeycomb; hints of floral notes. (3.5/5)

Palate:  Vanilla; sea salt; caramel; red apples; deep floral notes.  (3.5/5)

Finish:  Medium.  Butter; hard candy; brine with a return to the ocean flavors; apple juice and Sherry linger on the finish. (3.5/5)

Overall: We enjoyed this bottle, and preferred it to the 12-year old offering.  The palate and finish on the Aberlour 16 hold up to the nose making for a well-rounded experience, a great delicate Scotch. (3.5 /5)

Value:  Pricing in around $70, this is a good bottle, and well worth checking out. (3.5/5)

“The palate and finish on the Aberlour 16 hold up to the nose making for a well-rounded experience, a great delicate Scotch.”

Aberlour


Aberlour

Aberlour A’bunadh (Aged in Sherry Butts) (Bottled at Cask Strength; 119.2 Proof) (NAS) (Batch 50)

Nose:  Brown butter;  vanilla; dehydrated fruit; apple skins; salted chocolate; crème brulee; pastry sweetness; black berry; leather.  (4.5/5)

Palate:  Flowers; dried fruit medley (apples, pineapples, blackberries); caramelized sugar; vanilla. Incredibly rich, flavorful, and complex.  (5/5)

Finish:  Long.  Dark chocolate; cherry; hints of salt and dried fruit throughout; sherry wood at the end. (3.5/5)

Overall: This bottle is fantastic. A deep, rich palate builds on a tremendous nose, and moves into a long finish that seems to coat the mouth and linger.  At cask strength (119 proof), this bottle satisfies throughout. (4.5/5)

Value:  This bottle can be found for as low as $85, and at that price is hard to pass up.  I would urge all Scotch drinkers, or those looking to start drinking Scotch, to pick up a bottle of Aberlour A’bunadh. (5/5)

“I would urge all Scotch drinkers, or those looking to start drinking scotch, to pick up a bottle of Aberlour A’bunadh.”

Aberlour

Lee is an original member of Flight Club and servers as the End-of-the-Year Bottle Chair.

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