Aberfeldy 20 Year Exceptional Cask Series Sauternes Finish

Scotch Whisky Review #249: Aberfeldy 20 Year Exceptional Cask Series Sauternes Finish

Distillery: Aberfeldy

Region: Highland

Age: 20 Year.

ABV: 43.00%

Price: $160

Batch No.: AB3099

Cask No.: 7, 8, 9, and 10

Cask Type: Finished in Sauternes Casks

Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes.


Nose: This started off very, very closed off. It felt dense as I was nosing it after letting it rest for a decent amount of time. I let it sit for a bit longer, occasionally taking a whiff to see if it had changed. You can feel it start to loosen up. From this dense ball of scents that you really can’t pick out anything, they start to peel away one at a time. Shine muscat grapes are one of the first to pop up, likely the sauternes cask coming through. Then you get more orchard fruits in a bit of under ripe apples and peaches. There’s a trace of honeycomb as well.

Palate: Much like the nose, the first sips I had of this felt dense and closed off. After letting it rest even longer than normal, it does also loosen up. The first flavor that comes rushing out is a burst of honey. It’s like taking a bite into honeycomb, you get a little bit of this waxiness before an onrush of honey. Golden raisins are present along with dried peach slices. There’s a bit of oak as well, not the spices that you might get from an oak, but more of the wood flavor. It’s mixed a tad with a very dry cocoa powder. It’s almost like cocoa powder with no sugar in it, sticks to the roof of your mouth but helps cut the sweetness from the oozing honey. A slight drop of water helps this open up a little more, with some nuts and chocolate coming out.

Finish: Starts off long but gets shorter as you go. Sweet cocoa powder seems to linger forever along with a tinge of oak. A bit of slightly baked apple appears as well.


Conclusion: It’s been a while since I’ve come across a shy whisky. This Aberfeldy had to be slowly coaxed out of its shell as it started off incredibly closed off. It started off smelling incredibly dense and it tasted similarly as well. I think I ended up giving this around 45 minutes of resting time before it started to really open up. Fruits start popping in one at a time, shine muscat grapes being the first and most prominent in all of their juicy and sweet glory. The palate is full of a delicious honeycomb note, completely with a bit of waxiness. You get some dried fruits and a bit of cocoa powder to really help complement that oozing honey. It’s quite tasty with enough going on to keep things fun as well. Would I buy another bottle? Maybe.

Final Score: 86.

Scotch Whisky Review #249, Highland Review #51, Whisky Network Review #384


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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