Aberfeldy 1994 Old Malt Cask Review

“A Touch Too Much”

Country: Scotland 
Region: Highlands - Pertshire
Brand: Aberfeldy 1994 (Douglas Laing - Old Malt Cask)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age:  18 Years
ABV: 50 %

Colour: Golden

Nose: Rather Floral with Heather and Pine Needles. The Alcohol is quite strong so you need to find your way around that. I also find Malt, Honey, Buttered Toast, Vanilla Custard, Nectarine Preserves, Pineapple Sweets, Oak and mixed Spices. 

Palate: Strong Delivery. This Aberfeldy is Malty and Spicy with Sweet Barley, Orange, Nectarine Preserves, Buttered Toast, Oak, Honey, Pepper, Cinnamon and grated Ginger. Wood and Wood spice are a bit too dominant.    

Finish: Middle-Long, Oaky and quite Spicy with Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Toffee, Nuts, Pepper, Cinnamon and Dried Herbs. Dry with a bit of Dusty Earth towards the end. As on the Palate, Oak and Wood Spice are quite present.

With a bit of Water, the Alcohol retreats and the Nose becomes Sweeter and almost Creamy with Barley, Honey, Vanilla and Fresh Apricots. On the Palate and in the Finish I do not detect significant changes but you can certainly experiment with a bit of Water.

Rating: 83.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21 

General Remarks: The Aberfeldy Distillery is located in Aberfeldy (Pertshire) and was founded in 1896 by John and Tommy Dewar. Today, John Dewar & Sons is part of the Bacardi Group. A lot of the Malt production goes into Dewar's Blends like the White Label, the 12 Years, the 18 Years and the Signature. The Single Malt core range consists of the 12 Years, the 21 Years and the 18 Years Travel Retail expression.

The Aberfeldy Old Malt Cask I'm tasting today was distilled in June 1994 and bottled by Douglas Laing in June 2012. It matured in a Refill Hogshead with Cask # DL 8264. This Single Cask Malt is naturally coloured and not Chill-Filtered. It sells at around 90 US Dollars (April 2015).

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: This is my first Aberfeldy and the 1994 Old Malt Cask seems to follow the house style with lots of Fruit, Honey, Malt and Spices. But 18 Years of Wood seems to be a bit overdone for this Spirit as the Refill Cask provided more than sufficient Oak and Wood Spice. It's not a bad Single Malt but you need to like this Flavour profile to fully enjoy this Single Malt. For me personally the Cask gave " A Touch Too Much"   

Jan van den Ende                                                                     April 20, 2015

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