Review: Aberlour A’bunadh Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Batch 44)

IMG_2109The story with this whisky goes that a few stillmen found an old bottle of whisky from the turn of the 19th century and wanted to replicate it – and so, Aberlour puts forth a monster of a whisky – a cask strength, heavily sherried single malt. Each bottle has a batch label on it, and batches vary in quality but this is a longstanding classic and favorite of many connoisseurs. This bottling is from batch 44, and comes in at 59.7%, matured in first fill (i.e. new) sherry casks – deep red and brown in colour, with no coloring added or any chill-filtration. “A’Bunadh” means “of the origin” in gaelic, speaking to the old style of this whisky.

Nose: What a brilliant combination of sherry and malt. The cask strength on this lets you feel that at full force – sherry, rancio nuttiness, threads of rich barley, cinnamon, raisins, prune, tobacco, vanilla, and apples, oak, and fabulous earth. Brilliant- integrated, complex, and deep. 27.5/30 (92%)

Taste: Hot at cask strength, with white raisins, malt, vanilla, cinnamon, and oak all taking their turn in a slowly unfolding taste along with a consistent chocolate presence. There is lots going on, and the strength and complexity work so well. What is more, there’s a brilliant explosion of honey and malt mid-palate which works wonders. 28/30 (93%)

Finish: Buttery, after all the brute force of the whisky before – with a good bit of raisin, malt, malt loaf, berries, cinnamon, clove , mulled red wine- enduring too. Sort of like a good mulled honey, if there were such a thing. 18.5/20 (93%)

Conclusion: I’m grateful that the malt and spirit doesn’t get lost in this – with many whiskies aged in “flavoured” casks, it’s always a concern of mine that the whisky itself gets lost to the cask – but this is whisky, not high ABV sherry. It’s very integrated, without flaws…complex, IMG_2110and strong…wonderful stuff. Batches vary, and this is a good one – though there are better. Well worth a dram, and very good at cask strength, too. 18.5/20 (93%)

Overall: 92.5/100


4 thoughts on “Review: Aberlour A’bunadh Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Batch 44)

  1. Nice review Jason – great to see you adding an A’bunadh to your collection.

    This remains one my top-picks for a “sherry bomb” – great range of flavours, and remarkably well-priced in most places. I’m a big fan of my batch 49. 🙂

  2. Good review! This was one of the 1st ‘cask strength’ / ‘sherry bomb’ whiskies I tried! Back in the early 20s batches. Fell for it completely. Recently revisited and still found it a worthy whisky. 🙂

  3. Unfortunately this batch (44) is probably long gone. I also have batch 49 and not much left. Enjoyed it very much. The LCBO is on batch 53, so I will have to jump up 4 and grab that one.

    Any thoughts on the current batch 53?


    • I haven’t had it…and yes, 49 was a good batch! Yes, 44 was from some time ago I just had waited to open it. Generally, they are worth buying in my opinion though quality of course varies from batch to batch

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