Aberlour 14 yo Double Cask 40% ABV

After the recent disappointment of another 40% ABV (& a further 2 years matured) I needed to convince myself that the watery experience wasn’t a general issue (for me) with comparatively low ABV whiskies. One of the reasons for my purchase of this 14 year old 40% ABV Aberlour. I’ve also wanted to try this since its release, so 2 birds and all that!

A 14 year old single malt from Aberlour Distillery in Speyside. Matured in a combination of Oloroso sherry casks and first-fill American oak casks. Released in 2020, this expression has been bottled at 40% abv.

Winning the Double Gold medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2020, and a Gold medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2020.

Appearance: A lovely oaky rose gold. Lots of oozy thick legs when swirled. Nice and viscous, oily texture.

Nose: Oak, toffee apple, vanilla fudge, honey nut Cornflakes, dark berries and hops. There’s no ‘hit’ of ABV, but it’s evident and contributes to the nose.

There are soft waves of Christmas spices wafting from the glass. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and gentle aromas of star anise arrive on the nose in a very friendly way.

Palate: Not the most buttery textured arrival on the palate, but not watery either. Werther’s Original style creamy toffee and a gentle cooling Aero chocolate mintiness, a touch Bailey’s. There’s a definite warming on the chest, a good sign from this 40%! A touch of grapefruit, expressed orange, some liquorice and cereal.

Finish: short to medium, cooling mint still, cinnamon and liquorice. A citrus edge, not dominant in any way, just accompanying the other elements.

Overall: So, it’s still noticeably less viscous than higher abv whiskies, but not lacking in aroma, flavour or character. I believe I would definitely prefer a higher ABV (probably cask strength) version of this, but as an every day sipper, it’s very friendly and easy to drink. I like the flavour layers and Christmas feel too.

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