Aberfeldy 18 Year French Red Wine Cask Finish

Scotch Whisky Review #248: Aberfeldy 18 Year French Red Wine Cask Finish

Distillery: Aberfledy

Region: Highland

Age: 18 Year.

ABV: 43.00%

Price: $100

Batch No.: 2920

Cask Type: Finished in French wine casks from Pauillac

Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes.

Nose: It’s a lot earthier than I expected, it almost has a clay like element to it. There’s a bit of candy chalk of various flavors (Valentine’s heart candies perhaps?). A sharp note of fruit is present as well but I can’t quite place what it is.

Palate: Much like the nose, it’s a mix of earthy and fruity. It’s not sweet, just a tinge of cereal malt. You get some more of the chalk and clay. There’s mixed berries and some plum as well. With a little bit of water, the earthiness fades and you’re left with a seemingly generic slightly fruity whisky.

Finish: Medium in length. It’s an interesting (in a good way) mixture of chalk, milk chocolate, red wine, and tannins.

Conclusion: Aberfeldy isn’t one that pops to mind when I think of distilleries that would experiment with different, less than traditional cask finishes. So when I saw this one, I got pretty curious. My only previous experience with Aberfeldy is with their 12 year old, which I remember enjoying. I’m not sure how much of an upgrade this 17 year version is from that. The flavors, which are a very interesting mix of earthiness and a bit of fruit, all seem like they could go up another level but never seem to quite get started. I am left thinking that this could have absolutely used a few extra percentage points as far as ABV goes. Still, it’s not a bad whisky and it is enjoyable. Would I buy another bottle? Unlikely.

Final Score: 79.

Scotch Whisky Review #248, Highland Review #50, Whisky Network Review #381

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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