Cadenhead’s Small Batch Aberfeldy 18 Year Bourbon Cask (1997)

Scotch Whisky Review #305: Cadenhead’s Small Batch Aberfeldy 18 Year Bourbon Cask (1997)

Distillery: Aberfeldy.

Region: Speyside.

Age: 18 Year. Distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2015.

Cask Type: Bourbon Hogshead

ABV: 56.4%

Price: $120.

Color: 0.2, Pale Straw. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.


Nose: It’s quite strong and clears the sinuses nicely. It’s on the sweeter side of things with warm malt and some confectioners sugar coming through. After a bit, some tropical fruit in the form of lychee and rambutan also appear. Menthol and some mint show up right at the end.

Palate: It’s screaming for water, at full strength it is virtually undrinkable because of how hot and bitter it is. With a lot of water, it does cool down. You get chocolate cereal along with tons and tons of stevia confectioners sugar substitute. Lychee and a rather unripe green apple come in with some marzipan.

Finish: Medium in length. More of the stevia confectioners sweetener comes through strongly. Chocolate in two forms finishes this off with some milk and white chocolate.


Conclusion: I’ve never seen an independent bottling of Aberfeldy, though Whiskybase tells me that they’re not unheard of. It’s a distillery that I’ve been regaining interest in given the fun releases they’ve been putting out, like this Sauternes cask finish. This particular bottling of Aberfeldy by Cadenhead’s was produced before the Dewar’s group was sold to Bacardi. Overall, it’s a delightful whisky. You get a nice mixture of tropical fruits along with chocolate throughout. The bit of confectioners sugar substitute is delightfully cooling as well. Overall, tasty and makes for easy drinking once watered down appropriately.

Final Score: 81

Scotch Whisky Review #305, Speyside Review #114, Whisky Network Review #447


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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