Aberlour 12 Years Double Cask Matured

Whisky Aberlour 14 Anos 700ml - Single Malt

”Back To Life (Back To Reality)”

Whisky Review # 919
Country: Scotland
Region: Speyside
Brand: Aberlour Double Cask Matured
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 40%
Maturation: Vatting of American Oak and Seasoned Sherry Butts
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 38-45 (June 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay for a 12 Year-old Single Malt.
Buying Advice: 👎Save a little more and go for the A'Bunadh.

Colour: Deep Gold (Artificially Colored)


After last week's characterful Glen Elgin, we are back in Mainstream Malt territory with this Aberlour. The Nose is not bad mind you but quite predictable. The Sherry Wood is noticeable but certainly not overpowering. There is actually a nice balance between the two cask types used on the Nose. Buttery Fruit Cake, Toffee, Yeast and Nougat are the main drivers. The Nose is mainly Sweet with a few Bitter and Sour notes for balance.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttery Fruit Cake, Toffee, Apple-Pie filled with Raisins and Sultanas, Apricot-Filled Puff Pastry, Yeast, Dough, Nougat, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Marzipan, Lemon, Grapefruit, Banana, Nectarine, Fresh Herbs, Dusty Track, Cocoa Powder and Mint. A distant hint of Leather.


Rather disappointing after the pleasant Nose. Indifferent Cask Management spells trouble in palate-paradise though. The Palate is Thin and a bit Raw and Edgy. It presents a mix of Sugary Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Spicy notes. The Alcohol is quite noticeable. You don't have to wake me up for this Aberlour!

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Toffee, Brown Sugar, Grass, Sweet Apple, Banana, Nougat, Raisins, Charred Oak, Herbal Tea, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Caramel, Honey, Wax, Buttery Puff Pastry, Seville-Orange, Grapefruit and Lemon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Artificially Flavored Tutti-Frutti Bubble Gum.


Short/Middle-Long, Thin, Edgy and a little Hot. Easily the worst part of this Malt. There were quite some, if not all, Refill casks in the mix here. The Finish is a mix of Sugary Sweet, Sour and light Bitter notes. This Finish does not invite you to have another sip actually which is a pity after the simple but quite acceptable Nose. I find Toasted Barley, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Honey, Wax, Sweet Apple, Lemon, Grapefruit, Seville-Orange, Fruitcake, Nougat, Grass, Herbal Tea, Charred Oak, Cocoa Powder, Caffe Latte, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Mint, PVC Pipe and Aniseed or perhaps Mint.

Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Aberlour. It's Thin enough as presented.

Rating: 79.5

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19  - Overall: 19.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay at best. The Nose is the better part.


The Aberlour distillery was founded in 1879 by James Fleming and is located in the little village of the same name in Banffshire, Speyside. Since 2001 it is owned by Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard). The capacity of Aberlour is around 3,8 million litres per year. The core range includes the 12, 16 and 18 Years as well as the A'Bunadh and the Casg Annamh.

Back to Life (Back to Reality) with this Aberlour. The Nose is okay but the rest is not at all interesting and shows exactly all the problems that I have with the current Mainstream Malt Madness. Indifferent Cask Management leaves the Spirit without character and the low ABV does not help either to bring out the Flavors & Aromas. Today unfortunately this type of standard Single Malt is the rule rather than the exception. Mediocre and Forgettable. A waste of time and resources! If you are considering to buy an Aberlour Single Malt go for their A'Bunadh series. That's honest Whisky for a reasonable price.  


Jan van den Ende                                                                          June 16, 2021

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014


Anonymous said...

Dear Jan,
a pitty, actually I liked Aberlour very much, but this standard is a bit dissappointing, the non chilfiltered version of the 12 yo is much better. However, it is been a while since I tried it...


Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Bjorn, good to hear from you! It's really a pity but it seems a bit of a general trend I'm afraid.

Chers and Take Care!