|Scotland, Central Speyside
|Pernod Ricard via Chivas Brothers
|Douglas Laing & Co.
|Single Barrel Single Malt
|Refill Hogshead DL14246
|58.4% (116.8 Proof)
|K&L Wine Merchants
Independent bottlings of Aberlour single malts are less common than those of other distilleries. Even more atypical is the absence of any sherry aging or finishing. As such this particular release represents a wonderful opportunity to experience the true heart of Aberlour’s spirit, laid bare, undecorated and without the fanfare of, say, an explosive A’Bunadh. Not that those aren’t great. Don’t get me wrong.
Nose: A mild spring breeze, carrying the scent of high quality hard orange candy, wafts along a linen sheet, just out of the wash and still minty fresh, hung out to dry on a pale bleached wooden rack in the early sun. A light breeze is all there is though. It never grows bigger or bolder than that even if one covers the glass. The only noticeable change is that, over time, the minty notes gradually morph into citrus ones, mostly fresh cut lemons. (7.5/10)
Palate: Oh, wow… damn… what??? The nose did *not* give that away. Like at all. Kaboom! This took the mild sunlit spring breeze of the nose and turned it into a glorious spectacle of a psychedelic spring storm, as if you’re experiencing all the same things while on mushrooms. Rich, flavorful, assertive, it overwhelms your unsuspecting senses. The orange candy is still there. So is the citric acid. So is the bright light. But all of it has been dialed up to 11 without losing any of its internal balance. Amazing… (9.5/10)
Finish: After that cosmic cataclysm of a palate the finish requires conscious effort just to remember there is one and to register its presence with your senses. On any other whisky it would be a grand finish but here it can barely make itself heard over the ringing echoes of the palate in my mind. Not as much warmth spreading through the chest as one might expect from a whisky of this strength. Most of the whisky’s heat seems to want to form a glow at the top and back of the throat. The orange candy theme steadily continues and ultimately settles into a lasting, pleasant coating. (8.5/10)
Balance: What a palate! But make sure to sit and focus on the finish as well. It takes time to assert itself but inevitably it will. And it’s worth the wait. This is good. Very good. Which is a good thing because this bottle ain’t exactly cheap. (9.2/10)