Blind tasting: Aberlour a’bunadh batch 25

Aberlour a'bunadh batch #25Dram data:
Distillery: Aberlour
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2008
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Price at the time of purchasing: –
Casks: Oloroso Sherry Butts
Alcohol: 60.4%
Unchillfiltered, uncoloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Another mystery blind tasting of a dram provided by my brother Johannes. Cheers for the challenge! Colour: Amber. The nose is immediately hit by a waft of sherry goodness on the first sniff. Dare I say Oloroso? I’m not the world’s biggest sherry expert. You’ve got to be careful not to breathe in too vigorously, the alcohol is still strong with this dram – cask strength I presume. Lots of typical dark sherry notes on the nose, burnt, dark toffee, figs, raisins, dried plums, faint roasted coffee and nuts, dark cocoa powder. A bit of dried orange rind, too, but not many lighter notes to be detected here. The distillery character is washed away by the sherry – I won’t even attempt guessing the distillery, but it might be a Speysider? Let’s see where the palate takes us first before I make up my mind. On the first sip I get dry sherry notes and a mighty hit of alcohol drowning the bitter chocolate covered fruit notes. This needs a drop of water. Or two. Oh yes, that helps. Still quite dry, more bitter chocolate, much less sweet than promised by the nose, almost a bit grassy. Very hard to make out different notes. A mighty sherry bomb coating the entire mouth, devoid of any distillery character that might have once been. Tastes quite youngish too, one might mistake the sherry character for wood influence but, no, there isn’t much oak coming through. The finish starts out with a bang coating the entire throat. Quite like the palate, somewhat sweet, dark chocolate, slightly bitter with remnants of sherry lingering for a long time.

Verdict:
This is a sherry bomb. There’s no other way to describe it. Whatever the original spirit once was, it is now completely overtaken by the sherry finish(?). Not the most complex dram and still quite youngish I guess, but if you’re into big, bold, dry sherry monster drams, by all means, go for it. As far as the region is concerned, my best guess would be a Speysider, but it could really be anything (unpeated).

Afterthought after learning about the dram in the glass: Well, I got the region right and I got the type of sherry right. I wouldn’t have guessed the distillery. As far as age is concerned, I went for young’ish and the a’bunadh is indeed a NAS bottling. So there you go. I’ve got to say I’ve had better and more interesting batches of a’bunadh in the glass but have never encountered a bad one.

Score: 83/100

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