|Category||Single Malt Scotch|
|Region||United Kingdom, Scotland, Speyside|
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The name is Scotch Gaelic for “the original” or “the origin.” The whisky was inspired by the discovery of a time capsule, dated to 1898, during the installation of a second set of stills in 1975. Aberlour A’Bunadh Alba Cask is an attempt to recreate the style of whisky produced by the Aberlour distillery in the late 19th century.
Aberlour A’Bunadh Alba Cask represents a great value in cask strength, sherry matured Scotch whiskies. At under $100 per bottle, in most states, it sells for substantially less than comparable, cask strength, sherry matured Scotch whiskies from other distilleries.
Aberlour’s Speyside distillery, located by a stream near the Ben Rinnes mountains from which its water is sourced, has been making whisky since 1880. But it’s only in recent years that the brand has begun to make a name for itself in the States. Aberlour is known for its rich, viscous, sherried malts, which are aged in both sherry butts and ex-bourbon American oak casks and then married before bottling.
The yin to Aberlour A’Bunadh Alba Cask, this cask-strength single malt is matured entirely in bourbon casks rather than sherry. The result is a bracingly pure whisky with deceptive simplicity; its flavors are clean and its structure precise, but it’s far from boring. The nose recalls black-and-white cookies, vanilla-frosted yellow cake, and shortbread with caramel topping, along with honeysuckle, jasmine, and coconut cream. Mouth-coating and full, it has flavors of poached pear, malt balls, nougat, lemon curd, toasted coconut, and hints of spice. Vanilla, chocolate, and nut flavors are almost endless on the finish. Add water, or don’t: this is delicious either way.
On the nose, it is sweet, with a pronounced aroma of ripe red apples. There is also some pear, some floral notes along with honey, vanilla and a hint of cinnamon.
On the palate, the whisky is sweet. There is a pronounced alcohol burn, along with a bitter note and a sharp pepperiness that builds quickly. As the whisky opens up elements of citrus zest, cinnamon and dried apple emerge. The whisky is smooth, with a creamy, oily texture and an obvious palate weight.
The finish is long, sweet, with a pronounced pepperiness.