Whisky Review – Aberlour A’bunadh batch 46

Aberlour A’bunadh batch 46
Non Chill Filtered
60.4% ABV

It’s A’bunadh time! I love a’bunadh, it’s a go to Whisky for me, there are good batches, excellent batches and ok batches. Fortunately the good and excellent outweigh the ok. Batch 45 (reviewed here in June) was an excellent one. What’s batch 46 got to offer?

For this review I have the last dregs of my batch 45 alongside for comparison. I’m more than aware the likelihood is that my 45 will have oxygenated quite significantly having been opened since June and untouched since December.

Nose.

Quite closed off. There is some very prominent nutty notes (the skin off walnuts/hazelnuts) and some dunnage dustiness. Some floral oak presence, but not a lot else. Not overtly fruity or sherry intensive as I would expect. Will give it some time to the air. Ok. Given 15 minutes standing and the more familiar sherried fruitier malt aromas come into smellview, with the previous nutty dominance subsiding a little. A few more minutes left alone and the nuts take a forward step. Changing nose, ok cool, but not as sherried as I would expect on previous batches. My old batch 45, well, I think it’s a bit flat compared to its first opening, but still has a nicer balance (albeit less intense) to batch 46. More time to the air and it’s back to floral and fruit. It’s a moody nose! 🙂

Palate.

Ooo. Hot hot hot. Burn subsides, and here’s the fruit kapow. The harshness of the ABV heat sticks around, as we get to mid/end development then more of the spicy fruitcake is in the foreground. There is quite an overpowering bitterness to the end development. Comparing to batch 45, as with the nose the palate is more balanced, has some lush rum and raisin going on and is altogether more refined.

Finish.

Medium. Sour oak, some fruitcake, a little orange and some hidden bitter chocolate notes.

Adding water.

A fair dollop of water added. The nose now has more of the floral oaky dust in the foreground. There is a tad more of the recognisable fruity elements, but nothing like the power of previous batches. The palate, has now an element of fizziness to the development, more spicy rich raisin fruit is present with the reduced ABV burn, some orange oils. And lemon rind bitter notes. The oak tannins if the undiluted palate are tamed but still present, and the finish is now a little easier, but still a little bitter.

Conclusion.

Hate to say it, bit of a bitter disappointment batch 46. Seems to not have taken as much of the sherry influences of previous batches, and has quite an acrid set of flavours compared to batch 45. I guess you take the rough with the smooth, but this one for me is a ok-at-best a’bunadh. I’m hoping with some time opened it may calm down a bit and recover, but right now it’s not as go to as previous batches have been. I will leave it and return in a few months and update accordingly. 😦

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