16 years old, 43% ABV, Oloroso and American Oak casks, Speyside, Scotland
Interestingly though, on the package of the 16 year old double cask, Aberlour refer to themselves as both a Highland and Speyside distillery.
The bright copper-coloured 16 year old double cask pictured here is a marriage of two different whiskies.
Aberlour take a whisky that’s been maturing for at least 16 years in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks and a whisky that’s been maturing for at least 16 years in first-fill American Oak. The two are then married together for a period of around three months in a marrying tun before being bottled as the 16 year old double cask.
Just as you’re about to open the bottle for the first time, you’re met with this little paper seal scribed with a simple description of what you’re about to taste. I think it’s a nice little touch. (In case you’re wondering, the liquid inside does indeed live up to the description – read on)
Did you know…
The town of Aberlour is also the home of Walker’s Shortbread. I don’t know about your part of the world, but at home in Sydney, there always seemed to be a tin or box of Walker’s Shortbread in our house around Christmas time. Might have to pair one with a dram of Aberlour 16 to see how it goes!
Initially quite fresh and floral – notes of soft vanilla, light spice, green apples, citrus and gentle sweetness. The nose sweetens after some glass/air time with some malty honey notes showing and something a bit zesty and bitter – orange marmalade comes to mind. A pretty well balanced nose in my opinion.
A nice medium oily mouth feel on entry – it has a nice weight to it for a 43% whisky. Gentle spice and sweetness come out first, followed by some of those citrus/bitter marmalade flavours. The sweetness and vanilla aren’t as strong as I would have expected from the nose, but they’re still there. Overall, quite light and soft on the palate.
The 16 year old finishes with medium warmth and light malty sweetness contrasted with a fair bit of oaky bitter spice.
With little debate, the cask strength A’bunadh is the most well-known and talked about whisky in Aberlour’s current line up. But I think this is a really underrated gem and one that’s definitely worth exploring.
If A’bunadh is the heavyweight bigger brother packed with boisterous pointed flavours, then the 16 year old double cask is its nimbler sibling with rounder, softer, more harmonious flavours. A well-made high quality whisky at a pretty good price point.
If you’re a fan of A’bunadh and have been wondering about the other offerings in the Aberlour stable – maybe it’s time you gave the 16 year old double cask a go.
As a random side note, this bottle has to have the best sealing cork I’ve come across!