Aberlour A'bunadh Batch 51 60.8% ABV 2015

Hitch shamelessly quaffs the unquaffable.

A'BUNADH: "the origin" in Gaelic. Apparently, a return to traditional methods of the 19th century, which is not at all marketing flannel and really, truly, the complete unembellished truth. Honest. 

A'bunadh is available (in the summer of 2015) from most online retailers for around 70USD or 110AUD locally at Nicks in Melbourne and a little more at numerous other Australian retailers. 

Colour: Mahogany. There is nothing on the label to confirm a lack of artificial coloring so it must be assumed that the seductive hue is not entirely natural. "NON CHILL-FILTERED" is prominently displayed and I can't imagine Aberlour would not also proudly declare "NATURAL COLOUR" if this was indeed so. I usually water this beastie down to about 45% ABV, although it is still quite palatable at full strength, should you care to try it, which I suggest you do. I find as dilution increases it's flavour and smell are disproportionately diminished, so experimentation will, as usual, be required to find a dilution that suits your taste. Don't be shy with the H2O though; youth and strength need some taming. 

Nose: Oh my! Quite volatile even when watered; solvent, sniffing glue...O-K; it needs some time in the glass. Ten minutes later it is much more approachable. Dark fruits, heavy Oloroso, raisins, pipe tobacco cascading into butterscotch, oak and moist cigar. On the palate: hot, chewy, nutty (almond and Brazil), rum & raisin chocolate. Blackberry jam. A hint of cinnamon. More water conjures tea and caramel chews. Fades quickly to a faint apple,licorice and (I kid thee not) burnt toast finish. 

I am enjoying batch 51 more than the previous bottle I purchased(batch 39). It's youthfulness is offset by the freshness and intensity of its flavour but, for me, it falls short of the other NAS Sherry Bombs currently under Hitch's protection. While it certainly has no place alongside aged sherry masterpieces from the likes of Glendronach and Glen Garioch I'm sure I'll buy another, sometime.

A'bunadh has become an iconic single malt sherry monster. It is most certainly worth the price of admission. Aberlour A'bunadh is an essential sojourn on your whisky journey, yet one from which you will move on; without remorse. 84/100

William Crampton

Matthew 7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves, bearing Sherry Bombs....