Aberlour is every inch a classic Speyside Whisky. This means that there is a fruit-foreward character with a strong Sherry cask influence. In fact, all of their single malts are either aged exclusively in those amazing Oloroso Sherry casks or a combination of Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks.
They have six Whiskies in their core single malt range and then a series of special releases from time to time. Each aging level has distinct characteristics, but they all have full-bodied richness and toffee-raisin and spicecake notes that tie all the siblings together on the palate.
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Aberlour specialized in producing Scotch Whiskies for the French market for decades. Some say that's why their single malt has a distinct, Cognac-like character to this day.
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Aberlour Distillery is located in Speyside, in a small townof the same name. This spot is where the River Lour empties into the River Spey, at the foot of Ben Rinnes -- a local mountain.
One of the most interesting things about the history of Aberlour, is the confusion around the date of their founding. Some sources claim 1826, others say 1879.
So which is it? Well, both, actually. In the same town where the production distillery now sits, there was a small distillery of the exact same name: Aberlour.
The location was then purchased and demolished. So... the "current" Aberlour was established there in 1879 by James Fleming, who worked at the Dailuiane Distillery for ten years to learn the business. Note that the official bottle labels confirm the 1879 date as well.
That being said, the first production run didn't drip off the new stills until 1880. The distillery has changed hands a few times since then, most notably when the Cambell & Sons bought them in 1945. The current owner -- Pernod Ricard -- received it as a part of their purchase of Campbell in 2001.
In terms of production, most of Aberlour's single malt releases are aged in ex-Bourbon barrels. The 10YO is the youngest, but they release across a wide range of ages up to 30YO.
CountryUnited Kingdom, Scotland
No. of stills2 wash, 2 spirit
AddressAberlour, Banffshire, Aberlour AB38 9PJ, United Kingdom
A transcript for non-audio situations
It's now my absolute pleasure to introduce a Whisky some of may know very well, Aberlour A'Bunadh. Just to stress again, that is pronounced "Abina." And A'Bunadh is Gaelic, and it means "origin." What do we mean when we say "origin?" Well, Aberlour has been here since 1879 and our aim was to produce a Whisky that would be as close to the original spirit of Aberlour. Matured exclusively in Sherry casks, as would have happened in the late 19th century. Non-chill filtered, to give that beautiful mouthfeel. And most importantly, a cask strength. So I recommend you treat A'Bunadh with the greatest of respect, that you tread carefully when trying A'Bunadh for the very first time. This is a remarkable Whisky. It's intense, it's robust, it's exotic. So let's delve in and see what we get. And first of all, look at that colour, cask strength, open first fill [SP], all that also Sherry casked, a beautiful ruby auburn colour coming through.
Now, it has a cask strength and I would normally add a fair bit of water to this one. But let us try it first of all without water. Let's just take in the percentage first. This is badge number 24, and we're at 60.2% alcohol. And some of you are thinking what age is it. Age isn't important, it's not important at all to A'Bunadh. What's important is quality and the exceptional quality of those Sherry casks that are used in maturing the versatile and fruity Aberlour spirit. Enough talking.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Coming through, those Sherry notes, dark, dusty, fruity. And I'm even going to venture into the palate at 60.2%. Explodes in the mouth. There are so many layers to this, the oak, the Sherry, the dark fruits, chocolate praline. Let's add some water to it and open it up. Now at 60%, I would recommend adding a great deal of water. You know, some master blenders will nose and taste their Whisky at 20% alcohol. That's a good guide, adding the same amount of water as in the glass, but some spirits will need less. But A'Bunadh certainly needs to be brought alive by some addition of Whisky. So I've probably taken it down to about 35% alcohol or 30% alcohol here, so let's delve back in. You could get lost in there for a very long time, nosing and appreciating. And there comes through those spices, the nutmeg, the cinnamon, chocolate praline, raisins, floral, fruity, dark Sherry. Let's try it.
Magnificent, absolutely magnificent. What a wonderful finish. This is a Whisky you want to get to know intimately, this is a Whisky you want to be your best friend. It's magnificent, the oak remaining in the mouth, the dark fruit, great long finish. Everything A'Bunadh promises it delivers.