Aberlour A’bunadh Batch 53 (59.7%, OB 2015)

Sometimes looking at past orders can make for depressing reading. I bought this bottle of Aberlour A’bunadh in November 2015, and paid £28.55 for it in a flash deal. Nowadays it retails for almost £100, and we’re lucky if we can find it at around £60 on offer. The whisky itself doesn’t need much of an introduction, it’s the sherry bomb we all know and love.

Nose: Intense sherry sweetness, yet behind it all there seems to be a fruity core. The top notes are all on stewed fruits, mulled wine spices, Christmas cake and everything sherried. It is, however, just about possible to detect a fairly malty centre with fresh red apples.

Palate: As usual with the A’bunadh, the texture is so thick and velvety that it’s possible to enjoy this even without water. It’s extremely intense of course, and the high strength delivers a big sherry hit without any hope for subtler notes – call it a guilty pleasure. With water, we get an extension of the stewed fruit and spices from the nose, as well as some baked apples with cinnamon.

Finish: Long, surprisingly fruity and fresh, with some vanilla.

Comments: Beautiful. The price hike may be annoying but I still can’t think of many cask strength sherry bombs that rival it at its price range – possibly only the Glenfarclas 105 and some cask strength Edradours. Comparing the A’bunadh with the Glenfarclas 105 can be productive, incidentally – there’s a lot more fresh fruit in the Aberlour to complement the heavy sherry.

Score: 88/100

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