Aberfeldy 18yo Pauillac Wine Finish

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Aberfeldy have added a second French Red Wine finished limited edition to their armoury, following the release late last year of a 15 year old whisky which was finished in Pomerol wine casks. This new expression is slightly older, at 18 years old, and has been finished for four to five months in Pauillac red wine casks. Pauillac wines are generally thought of as the archetypal Bordeaux wine; robust and powerful but with a softer, more elegant side. I was really impressed with the 15 year old Pomerol finish when it was released last year, with the wine casks enhancing the whisky, rather than completely dominating it, so I’m hoping for an equally as rewarding experience here.

Speaking of the release, Aberfeldy Malt Master Stephanie MacLeod said: “Pauillac casks are the aristocrats of the Médoc, they provide notes of black cherries, blackberries and a cedar wood spice. Aberfeldy’s wonderfully soft signature honey and creamy vanilla notes are invigorated with swathes of plush ripe fruits and lovely nutty aromas to create an incredibly elegant and fruitful whisky.”

Aberfeldy 18yo
Pauillac Wine Finish
43% ABV
£95 here

Nose: Classic Aberfeldy notes of runny honey, caramel wafers, toffee pennies and light oak spices. The wine influence lurks underneath, with apricot, bramble, praline, raspberry jus, coffee grounds, and sweet pipe tobacco.

Palate: Ah, now the wine casks make themselves properly known, with strawberry parfait, plum, nectarine, glace cherry, juicy sultanas and a cracked pink peppercorn tingle. There’s some manuka honey too, with caramelised walnut, wormwood, and sweet liquorice.

Finish: Remains on the richer side, with dried fruit and nut mix, drying woody spices, some dark, chocolate and a touch of mocha.

Overall: I was expecting good things, given how bang-on the Pomerol red wine finish was on the 15 year old last year, and it’s every bit as good, if not better. The wine is there, but it’s won the Oscar for best supporting actress rather than leading actress, which is exactly how it should be. The 4-5 month finish has clearly been watched over very carefully, as it is neither too overpowering, nor conspicuously absent. The nose tells you immediately it’s an Aberfeldy in the glass, but the wine casks come through as an undertone, and then rather politely show their full face on the palate. A very well-crafted whisky.

 

 

 

 

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