Showing posts with label Aberfeldy 1996 (Exceptional Cask Series). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aberfeldy 1996 (Exceptional Cask Series). Show all posts

Aberfeldy 1996 (Exceptional Cask Series)

“The Price of Love”

Whisky Review # 1016

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Southern Highlands
Brand: Aberfeldy 1996-2016 - Exceptional Cask Series - Distilled: 12-03-1996
Bottled For: La Maison du Whisky (Anniversary Edition)
Type: Single Malt Double Cask Scotch Whisky bottled on 11-10-2016
Age: 20 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 52.8% (Cask Strength)
Maturation: 1st Cask # 02075 -11 Years - 2nd Cask # 4 French Red Wine Finish (Chateau Neuf du Pape) 9 Years - 198 bottles
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 350-425 (April 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 It is quite expensive. 
Buying Advice: 👍 If you like Red Wine Finished Whisky you should try this one!


Chestnut with shades of Orange, Red and Brown (Natural Colour)


Be sure to give this Aberfeldy sufficient time in the glass. The Alcohol is quite strong so avoid Nosing in the middle of the glass. The Red Wine cask left a powerful mark and it's hard to tell what type of cask was used during the first 11 years. The Dried Fruit notes suggest a Sherry cask but on the other hand it's not that Sweet so I go for a Bourbon cask. If you have any info on this please let me know! The Nose is a mix of Sweet and Sour notes with a bit of Salt in the background. Lots of Dark Red - and Dried Fruits. Quite nice!

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Buttered Toast, Salted Caramel, Treacle, Dark Red Berries and Sour Cherries, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Plums, Raisins), Orange, Mulled Red Wine, Straw, Dusty Casks in a Dunnage Warehouse, Cinnamon and Ginger. 

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Honey, Peach, Dark Chocolate, Dusty Road, Cake with Cream, Nuts, Leather, Tobacco, Marzipan, Pepper, Mint and light Licorice.   


Potent delivery thanks to the strong ABV. The influence of the Red Wine cask is strong but certainly not unpleasant. The Palate basically follows the Nose but is a little more Edgy. Wood and Spices come to the front. Sweet and Sour are the main drivers but there's this subtle Saltiness that I really like. 

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Treacle, Brown Sugar, Salted Caramel, Dark Red Berries & Cherries, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Plums, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Red Wine, Peach, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg and Menthol.  

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Resin, Leather, Tobacco, Strong Espresso, Dusty Track, Nuts, Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice and Mint.     


Middle-Long and quite Dry in the end. Mainly Sweet but with a developing Bitterness that never gets over the top though. A nice salty note somewhere in the back. The Alcohol is quite noticeable now. The Red Wine note like Red Haribo Sweets remain in your mouth for a while. I find Sweet Barley, Toffee, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Treacle, Honey, Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Raisins & Plums), Peach, Dusty Track, Dusty Oak, Marzipan, Orange-flavored Dark Chocolate, Dark Red Fruit such as Berries and Cherries, Salted Almonds, Tobacco, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger, Mint, Menthol and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. This is nice on the Palate but I find Nose and Finish less intensive and interesting. The Menthol and Mint in the Finish become quite overpowering as well. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8.5 - Taste: 8 - Finish: 7.5 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

The Aberfeldy distillery is located in Aberfeldy (Perthshire) in the Southern High-lands. It was founded in 1896 by John & Tommy Dewar. They needed a Single Malt for their blended Whisky Dewar's White Label. Since 1998 it is owned by the Bacardi Group. A beautiful visitor centre was finally opened in 2002. The annual production amounts to around 3.4 million litres. The core ranges consists of the 12, 16 & 21 Years Old. We visited the distillery and the visitor centre in May 2017.

I'm not always a huge fan of Red Wine finished Whisky but this is a good one. The Wine influence is strong but quite tasty. A word of praise for the cask management here. Excellent! The Finish could have been a little Longer and the Haribo after taste is a little artificial. But other than that this is a well-made Whisky. Not for everyday of course and not only because of the price. This is something to enjoy after a nice dinner and/or accompanied by a quality Cuban cigar. If you love Red Wine finished Whisky you should really give this Aberfeldy a try!

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                             April 4, 2024