Aberlour A' Bunadh Batch 37 CS Review

Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside 
Brand: Aberlour A' Bunadh Batch 37 CS
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 59.6 %
Date: 25/26/01/2013

Colour: Copper/Deep Amber

Nose: With almost 60% Alcohol the A'Bunadh needs time to open up of course. Don't rush! Use every angle to sniff this dram. If you simply stick your nose in the middle of the glass you won't get nothing but Alcohol. The Nose is quite powerful but also very sweet. I do not get any off-notes nor significant Sulphur for that matter. The Sherry is there of course but it's not too dominant. Lovely dessert flavours like Crepe Suzette (Warm Pancakes with Butter, Caramel, Orange Zest/Juice and the Orange Liqueur Gran Marnier) and warm Bananas soaked in Rum. But also Malt, Oak, Spices, (Bourbon-like)Vanilla, Nuts, Prunes and Raisins.

Taste: The Sherry from the Nose remains and weaves a web around an array of Spices such as Black Pepper, Cardamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Cloves. All this accompanied by lots of Bourbon Vanilla as well as Oak, Caramel, Dates and hints of Tobacco and Chocolate.

Finish: Middle Long and Hot with Sherry, Black Pepper, Vanilla and Rum-Soaked Raisins.

I added a spoonful of Water and that reduces the Alcohol of course. The Nose however gets Malty and Buttery and much of the flavour profile is lost. The Palate and Finish become more smooth but less balanced. Still, you can experiment with a couple of drops if you find the Alcohol too strong. Personally I prefer to sip the A'Bunadh neat.

Rating: 88  (out of 100)

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21.5  - Overall: 22

General Remarks: The A' Bunadh (Gaelic for of the Origin) was recreated in 1975 when Distillery workers found an old bottle of Aberlour from 1898. It is bottled at Cask Strength, Non Chill-Filtered and without adding Caramel for colouring. It matures in good quality Oloroso Sherry Butts.

Drinking Experience Neat: Very Good

Conclusion: This is a real Powerhouse and a perfect dram for Christmas! I'm living in Brazil for almost 20 years now and sometimes it's difficult to imagine sipping whisky on a Christmas Eve when outside the cold wind is howling and the snow is falling. Right now for instance it's 9.30 in the evening and it's still around 28 degrees Celsius. But even so I'm getting these Christmas images while sipping the A' Bunadh and that says something about the quality of this whisky. And it's still pleasantly priced at around 50 to 60 US Dollars. It helps of course that it's NAS but you don't get that impression while sipping. This could easily pass for a 15 year old in a Blind Tasting in my opinion. Nosing this dram requires patience. At least let it sit in the glass for an hour or so. You will be rewarded with wonderful dessert flavours. The Palate is a balanced combination of Sherry, Spices and Vanilla. The Finish is hot and could have been a bit more subtle. On the whole however this is a well-crafted sherried Speysider that I can fully recommend.

Jan van den Ende                                                                            January 2013


Whiskycuse said...

Wow, batch 37 and still such a huge quality...I like this malt, too, although I have only tasted batch 22, yet. Is this the most recent batch? I seem to recall, that I have seen batch 38, if I am not mistaken...

Jan van den Ende said...

I know that Batch 42 is already for sale, at least in the USA. Good quality for a good price!