Whisky Review – Aberfeldy 16 year old

Aberfeldy 16 year old

40% ABV

£50.95 from The Whisky Exchange

Aberfeldy 16 is the latest release in the line up from this “last great malts” distillery, joining alongside the 12, 18 & 21. 

Official Release Information:

ABERFELDY® 16 Years Old is entirely finished in premium Oloroso sherry casks, allowing a sumptuous and more pronounced sherry accent to the malt, giving a suggestion of dried fruit and spicy notes that only the finest of quality casks contribute.

Built by the Dewar family in 1898, the distillery is one of a handful remaining in Perthshire. The house style is rich but smooth and accessible with an emphasis on notes of honey. The long fermentation time of 70 hours allows for greater flavour development as an extended fermentation encourages the creation of more esters which in turn give the whisky fruitiness.

Known as The Golden Dram, Aberfeldy’s precious water source, the Pitilie Burn, is steeped in local folklore and its qualities have long been sought-after. The burn is renowned for being rich in mineral deposits including alluvial gold.

Let’s have a taste!


On first sniff there is a plethora of Lemon juice, candy cigarettes, lemon sherberts, icing sugar, and lots of lovely sweet shop aromas. After a small amount of time resting the citrus notes dissipate to bring forward more oak assertion. There is more of a light, warm honey nature manifesting now, with the sweet shops settling into the background. Touches of candy floss pop forward randomly. Toffee and malt biscuits are now the forefront of the nose, with some dusty warehouse lingering in the depths. With a fair amount of time in the glass and a touch of warming the glass in the hand (it’s got a bit cold!) more nutty not s come forward and a light touch of Christmas spices. 


The sherry finish of this dram is very apparent in the arrival, familiar Christmas cake, clove, cherry fruits, rum and raisin all fly forward. The mouthfeel is quite light (it is a chill filtered 40% whisky after all). The development moves into rich honey and more of the same sherried lush experience. The whole experience is very smooth, with little burn. More toffee and juicy dark fruits continue to evolve as the whisky remains in the glass. 


Fruits fade quite quickly, but the medium length finish then turns back towards the nuttily familiar oloroso sherry, becoming drier and nutty, lip smacking and moreish. The warmth is experienced in the chest and gives a lovely feel good factor on a chilly night such as it is at the time of writing. 

Adding water. 

Personally do not think whisky will assist this whisky, it seems rightly balanced as is. But I’ll risk spoiling the remainder of my dram for the sake of record. The complexity on the nose has been limited to dusty lemon citrus, with the richness having taken the hit from the water. The palate has been broken in the arrival loosing much of the flavour. Development goes into the same lemon and citrus land, but no longer rich and more watered down lockets. Sorry. This one and water does not mix. Keep it quality, keep it neat!


A lovely, relaxing, flavourful whisky. I can imagine many a chilly winters night say in front of a touring fire sipping on this honey led beauty. No water though, it kills it quick. 

Much thanks to Aberfeldy for the review sample