Much has been said in the last few months about the unexpected price increase of the Aberlour A’Bunadh. So I will not go into detail and write the umpteenth story about on the topic. However, what I want to talk about is that during the price increases, the independents quietly released a couple of Aberlour whiskies that were again ridiculously low priced. Yes people, that’s possible too. Search and you will find!
I‘ve always been a fan of Aberlour and I’m not the only one, as the distillery is growing in popularity. It’s always been quite affordable compared to other offerings, but since demand is increasing, the official prices are rising. Nowadays picking up single cask releases is proving more difficult, besides that, it is not a brand that you often encounter with independent bottlers. Whenever I see a new independent release I’m excited! Fortunately, we have 2 here to review including a gift from Jason. So let’s see how they shape up.
The first Aberlour was bottled by WhiskyBroker. This 25 year old was for sale for only £75. Yes, you read that right! Only £75! That is ridiculously cheap for a 25 single malt nowadays. As you can imagine, even though it was released very quietly, this was sold out in next to no time. And this happens very often with certain bottlings of WhiskyBroker. The label design may not look very sexy, but their releases are generally very affordable. This example is even much cheaper than today’s market value. So if they release something special like this Aberlour, it will be gone before you know it.
This Aberlour was released in two batches. For the first batch, only 60 bottles were released, as if they were afraid that this would not sell quickly. Of course, it did sell well! A second batch soon followed, with an additional 216 bottles. Needless to say that these also sold out very quickly. It comes from a sherry butt and was bottled at 52.7% ABV.
Then onto the second Aberlour. This is a private bottling, which is released under the name Cooper’s Gold. This is no less than 26 years old. And I believe this bottle is still for sale and costs £90 – if you need details please get in touch. This is also a very good price for a single malt of this age. A big difference with the above-mentioned release is that it has been matured in a bourbon cask. Something you do not often see with Aberlour releases, but I think it works very well with the Aberlour spirit. This release was bottled at 51.1% ABV and had an outturn of 274 bottles.
Aberlour 25 year old – review
On the nose: Cherries, and a lot of them! Quite sweet in the beginning. This is followed by oranges, very ripe pears and apples. A bit of caramel. There’s a tobacco note and a touch of old wood. Later also some butterscotch.
In the mouth: Cherries again, some dried fruits too. Then sweet oranges and ripe pears. It’s very creamy. Honey. Leather and whipped cream. And some wood here as well. A long spicy finish, with cinnamon and it is somewhat peppery. But all quite nice.
It’s a very nice Aberlour although not exceptionally good. It feels like it could have offered a bit more. But I’m not complaining though, especially if you take the price into consideration!
Coopers Gold Aberlour 26 year old – review
On the nose: A burst of vanilla. Followed by honey glazed pears. Some coconut shavings in the background. There’s a fair bit of pineapple juice, sugar and sweet mandarins. Later I also get oranges and a bit of citrus note.
In the taste: Mandarins, a floral note. Then sweet honey and vanilla. It’s quite sweet but nice. And all much in line with the nose. There is some coconut creaminess, which gives it a nice creamy touch. Some grapefruit here and a bit of guava to give it a tropical edge. The finish is mid-long which is also somewhat sweet. Plenty of caramel and a touch of bitterness from the grapefruits in the end. Also a tropical note.
As previously mentioned, independent Aberlour bottles are a rare find and this is a very good pick by Cooper’s Gold. I like it and the whisky seems to develop into a very nice dram.