Aberlour – 12 year (43%)

According to their webpage, Aberlour, situated on the confluence of Lour Burn and the River Spey, is a Gaelic word that means mouth of the chattering burn. Burns are what we here in the states call streams. I’m going to start calling all streams burns now, and put the word river first, just because it sounds badass. Here, try this on: I live near the confluence of the Farmington Burn and the River Connecticut. If I were a distiller I would make Aberfarmington whisky which would be a Connecticutside malt.

Though most of the official Aberlour bottlings are actually a blend of American white oak and Sherried pundunculate, sherry is the obvious star of the show here. First-fill Sherry casks explode in these easy drinking drams. They’re all very juicy malts and stay true to the Speyside stereotype of being sweet and honeyed. If you were trying to convince a stubborn friend that not all Scotch tastes like “band-aids” this would be a good spirit to offer them.

Nose: A little bit of congac type grapey-ness in the top notes. Bananas and pineapple upfront, with malt, coconut and cumin after a little air gets to it. Fresh and very sweet with just enough leather dashboard from the sherry cask to keep it rounded. There’s more oaky flavor in this release than the 16 year expression.

Palate: Still sweet and rich, but less fruit than the nose. Apples. Nicely balanced wood. That light, sherry bitterness comes forward first and the pineapple follows after a few seconds. Overall a very accesible malt.

Worth mentioning: River Connecticut isn’t exactly a beast you’d want to use to make anything you were planning to drink. I’m not sure all the recreational tubing urine floating down Farmington Burn would make for good drinkin’ whisky either…

Rating: Recommended

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