So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Aberlour 12 yo vs Aberlour 16 yo vs Aberlour 18 yo

Don’t really see a lot of Aberlour around, and if it is Single Malt, it’s usually one of the A’bunadhs. It may be because Pernod doesn’t really market their Single Malts as aggressively as others. But it’s the core range we have here, and it is always worth learning what the owners have in mind for their house style.

Remember Aberlour lost its floor maltings back in 1962 and 1973 saw a modernization which included doubling the number of stills. The new stills were also approximately double the size of the original stills, and along with the redesigned works, indicates pre and post 1973 styles should have seen some changes. Also we know direct firing was swapped out for steam coils in the early 80s, so the make has been modern for quite a while now.

aberlour-stills (whiskystory.com)

Aberlour’s stills are quite a classic shape, with straight lyne arms. Pretty fitting for a make considered a Speyside archetype.


Aberlour 12 yo 40%


Nose Nose: Orange juice, orange cordial, chiffon cake, loads of sweet maltiness, butter biscuits. Really quite zesty. Whipped cream and maraschino cherries. Oat dust.

Taste Palate: Generically sweet, orange concentrate, light honey, malt biscuits, more spice coming out from the wood towards the finish – ginger white pepper. The barest hints of white wood. Getting a little sour.

Finish Finish: Tad weak, malty, slightly zesty, slightly papery.


Pretty standard – not a disappointment.


Aberlour 16 yo 43%

I see this is ‘double-matured’ in traditional oak and sherry casks. Not sure what that means, but I suspect it suggests a long enough time was spent in sherry casks so as to go beyond mere ‘finishing’.


Nose Nose: Several notches up. Much less sweet oranges but more cocoa nibs, deep red fruit its a genuine red juiciness. Treebark, some clean earth, touch of rusty nails. Preserved olives, quite some roasted maltiness deeper and richer than the 12. Also quite more wood talking, aniseed woody spiciness.

Taste Palate: More on everything over the 12. Though not a heavy sherry, feels rather blended honestly. More treebark than treacle, more wood tea than juicy. Not that it does have a dose of ginger and other woody spices, and a roasty cereal touch. Feels like a herbal infusion with too much rosehips. Getting quite dry and tannic but the sherry stopped giving some time ago. Somewhat strange.

Finish Finish: Sour bitter tannicity without the associated deep wood flavours. Really a little odd.


Has got more complexity and development in general, and certainly more so than the 12.


Aberlour 18 yo 43%


Nose Nose: Again they’ve turned up the sherry. This one is big and spicy with the oodles of wood you can feel in here. Lots of ginger and black pepper and aniseed also sandalwood, and some sticky paste made from juicy raisins and prunes, that oxidised purple richness, treacle, deep dark chocolate. The abundant wood does feel rather raw and heavily layered on instead of integrated though.

Taste Palate: Yes, in fact much thicker and richer than its predecessors. Rich and sweet off the bat, but you can feel the tons of lacquered oak creeping up now, lots and lots of dark woody spices, black pepper and ginger. Charcoal. By now its become dry with all these tannins. Some black earth, something charred and wizened

Finish Finish: Medium .. bitter wood tannins and oak.


Ok. Pretty good. Will go up against the Macallan 18 very nicely. Between the 3, shoot for the 18.

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2016 by in Aberlour and tagged .
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