Aberlour A’Bunadh Speyside Cask Strength Batch #17, 60.2%

After a run in with the local law enforcement, Creswell was feeling down.  Once again, Bertrum and DeGama, like Japan’s mythic seabirds, bringing the lost-at-sea back safely to shore, arrive at Creswells, bearing gifts of whisky.  This stout bottle is sealed in dark burgundy wax hiding a 1inch diameter hardwood topped cork, blending well with the dark color of the whisky itself.  It takes a connoisseur such as Bertrum to be able to portend a sherry-esque virtue given only the outer aesthetics, such as color of the wax and the burnished golden hue.  After breaking the wax seal and uncorking the bottle, immediate sweet sherry notes mingle with a slightly medicinal twang. Creswell immediately, and arrogantly, proclaimed that this specific spirit would be best enjoyed without ice.

Each man was poured a welcoming dram.

Our initial thoughts: Thick, creamy and sweet caramel on the front that is wrapped in a woody sherry undertone.  As full of flavor as this is, each of us was surprised to find that, although this is a single Speyside malt, it lacks the standard kick common with singles from that region.  There is, however, a comforting warmth that lingers, the smoky flavors gently building as the others diminish.  Once the glass empties, one is left pondering… what difference, if any, might be found with the addition of a rock?

Creswell came off a bit prematurely in his presumption that this particular single malt required no ice.  We all take a hardy swill… Before we even formulated our conclusions upon the difference of taste that this brought; Creswell – for the first time- felt no shame in admitting that he was completely wrong!  This whiskey can be enjoyed either way, but there is a caveat.  When you add the rock, you get a completely different drink.  None of the flavors are lost; it retains the same creaminess, but with an intensified sweetness and lighter body, whilst the typical smoky Speyside notes swell to the fore.  At long last we found that bite we all love from the Speysides.

In conclusion, this is a scotch can appeal to any matured palette.  If you’re out for smoke and some bite, add a rock.  If you’re searching for a sweet, smooth, pensive evening go straight.  However, good gentlemen, please bear in mind that this particular whisky, at 60.2%, is quite strong.  It is bearing a strength that is all too hidden within its flavours.  Take heed and enjoy responsibly.


Bertrum, de Gama, and Creswell

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