Aberlour Casg Annamh

”The Candy Man”

Whisky Review # 946

Country: Scotland

Region: Speyside
Brand: Aberlour Casg Annamh - Batch 5
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 48%
Maturation: Mix of Ex-Bourbon Casks and Ex-Oloroso Sherry Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 45-65 (May 2022)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 Okay at around US$ 45
Buying Advice: 👎 Better avoid this one and stay with the A'Bunadh 

Colour: Golden Amber (Natural Colour)


Please give this Aberlour a bit of time in the glass before Nosing. It helps to calm down the initial waft of Varnish that greets the Nose. The influence of the Sherried Casks is there but it's not at all overwhelming. The Nose is basically Sweet with lots of Orange and Dried Fruit. A few Sour notes help to balance things out. The Alcohol is noticeable. The Nose feels Young but is okay though nothing special. The Fruity notes are a bit Artificial and remind me more of Fruit-Flavored Candies with the exception of the Orange note.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Caramel, Dried Fruit like Plums, Apricots and Raisins, Orange, slightly Sour Red Berries, Maraschino Cherries, Yeast, Dusty Oak, Ginger, Cinnamon and Mint.
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Golden Syrup, Brown Sugar, Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Lemon, Banana, Glue, Nougat, Varnish, Forest Floor, Dry Earth, Tobacco and Pepper.


Young, Medium-Dry and Slightly Hot. Mostly Sweet but with a few Bitter and Sour notes for balance. The Alcohol is really noticeable. The Fruit notes are even more Artificial than on the Nose unfortunately. I'm not impressed with this Casg Annamh.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Buttered Toast, Artificially Flavored Candies (Cherry, Apple, Strawberry, Raspberry, Pear, Banana), Orange, Nectarine, Yeast, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Licorice, Menthol and Dusty Oak.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Lemon, Nougat, Grass, Varnish, Milk Chocolate, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Dusty Track and hints of Metal Pipes.


Middle-Long, Young, Spicy and slightly Hot. Mainly Sweet but with a few Sour and Bitter notes as well. Medium-Dry towards the end. The Alcohol is quite noticeable. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Honey, Caramel, Vanilla, Artificially Flavored Candies (Strawberry, Apple, Raspberry, Cherry, Pear) Orange, Lemon, Nectarine, Varnish, Yeast, Milk Chocolate, Herbal Tea, Grass, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cloves, Licorice and Menthol. After a while i get a very strong note of Tutti Frutti Bubblegum.

Drinking Advice:

With added Water it becomes even more Edgy and Artificial. A couple of drops to ease the Alcohol perhaps but no more!

Rating: 82

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good. Nothing special


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.

Casg Annamh means Rare Cask in Gaelish. It matured in a mix of European Oak Ex- Oloroso Sherry Casks and two types of American Oak Ex-Bourbon casks.

I'm not impressed with this Aberlour expression. It's not really bad but it's Young, Hot and even a little on the Thin side despite the more than adequate ABV. In fact the Alcohol is noticeable throughout the Nosing and Tasting procedures. What most bothers me though is the Artificiality of the Fruit notes. A bit irritating even. So if you like Aberlour, avoid this one and stay true to the A'Bunadh series that still offer the best this distillery has to offer IMHO and at somewhat affordable prices. There's simply nothing Rare about this Casg Annamh! 


Jan van den Ende                                                                            May 10, 2022

All pictures were taken during our visit in May 2014


Anonymous said...

Dear Jan,

mmm disappointing. I always thought this would be A'Bunadh with lower strength (and lower price) and therefore maybe a good standard dram. Hence, I was looking forward to you review which prevented me from a bad buy, I guess. Have you tried the 12 year old unchilfiltered? Last time I had it is a couple of years ago, but I liked it very much back then. So maybe A'Bunadh and the 12 unchilfiltered are the to go to drams from Aberlour, a distillery I actually like a lot, however the presentation of their standard portfolio (low abv, chil-filteration) is a pitty and does not allow it to shine... and well the price of the 18 years old in 50cl bottles is of course also a set back...


Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Bjorn, good to hear from you. Sorry to disappoint you here with respect to the Casg Annamh although there seem to be a lot of people who like it. The problem is that the more good whisky you taste the more you feel disappointed with the modern mainstream malts. But in my view you can't hide the youth of a Malt behind a high ABV and Non-Chill-Filtration although both are good things of course. In my opinion it is a good cask that makes a good whisky and it takes time. It's no coincidence that almost all of my favorite whiskies are in the 15-18 years range.It's a pity that the A'Bunadh has become too expensive but it's the best choice when you like Aberlour. I haven't tasted the 12 Unchillfiltered as yet. Have a good weekend!
Cheers 🥃

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more, dear Jan.

Cheers Björn

Jan van den Ende said...

Cheers my friend!🥃