Aberlour A'bunadh Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) - Batch 076
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Aberlour A'bunadh Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) - Batch 076

Speyside, Highlands, SCOTLAND
$149. 99
$1799.88 Dozen
ABV: 61.3%

Handles water so well, it's like getting two bottles in one.

Aberlour’s cask strength A’bunadh has long been a darling of single malt aficionados, released in batches and now onto #76 (overseas may have even more recent bottlings). Each varies in proof and flavour as proportions of older or younger material make the cut, but the brief remains the same: Make a 100% ex-oloroso sherry aged malt using the inventory at hand (anywhere from 5 to 25 years old). Keep it natural, which means zero chill filtration, keep it balanced and keep it affordable. No information about the number of bottles from each batch of A’bunadh is offered, but they're large outturns for a global community, which makes for a significant blending challenge. That hasn't stopped collectors and fans of sherried malts from stocking up on those that are deemed better than others. It's easy to be overly harsh or jump the gun with these bottlings. Unless you are willing to be patient and let them breathe, they can be muted, out of balance and slightly prickly at first - a bit like a wine that's uncorked before its prime. That's certainly the case here. Get past the intensity of the spices and batch 76 is closer in style to Batch 74; There are notes of figs, plums and raisins but it's not exactly a sherry bomb, instead American oak contributes an equal level of vanilla richness, amplified and softened by minimal water - which is where this gets a little dangerous. Don't be too quick to refill your glass (or your guests') or things could quickly get out of control. On the flip side, you can dilute away and still retain a surprising level of intensity - which is a bonus. Whichever way you like it, A'bunadh is worth checking out as you encounter it, at least so long as value remains Pernod-Ricard's priority. 61.3% Alc./Vol. Non-chill filtered.

Notes from the producers... Auburn gold in the glass. Aromas of mixed spices, praline and spiced orange harmonising with rich, deep notes of Oloroso Sherry. The palate blends oranges, black cherries, dried fruit and ginger spiked with dark bitter chocolate and enriched with Sherry and Oak. Full bodied and creamy. Robust and intense finish with bitter-sweet notes of exotic spices, dark chocolate and oak.