Thanks to /u/smoked_herring for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit.
Aberfeldy is quite an iconic highland malt. It’s largely used in the Dewar’s blends. The distillery sits in the highland region and has been operating since the late 19th century. Over the years it has been released fairly sporadically, sometimes with many expressions on the market, sometimes with none at all, being produced entirely for blending.
The only Aberfeldy I’ve tried before this is the 12-year-old which I found to be quite boring and dull, good for adding volume to a blend. But I’d heard good things about some of the newer expressions released lately and have had my eye on this particular one for some time. It’s currently a travel-retail only expression, and is one of the few remaining ones to carry an age statement, and an impressive one at that.
Aged 18 years. 40%ABV.
Nose: Apple crumble with cream. Vanilla custard. Candied oranges. Herbal honey. Something lemony but not lemons, sort of like lemon cough sweets. Some musty sherry influence. Strawberry shortcake.
Palate: Thin mouthfeel, lacks body, but not boring or flat. More candied orange. Christmas pudding. Butterscotch. Salty toffee. Lots of fruits here banana, apple, apricot, yellow cherry, all in syrup. A woody vanilla not and woodspice at the end.
Finish: Medium. More strawberry shortcake. Vanilla. Woodspice. Honey. Slightly chocolatey note, the kind one gets off of a rich red wine.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
The nose was quite soft, fruity, very nice relaxing dram, not overly complex, but not boring. The palate was thin, but carried some good flavour which went through to a nice finish. It didn’t linger long, but it was nice.
This was not a complex whisky. It was not a whisky I’d put up on a pedestal, but it was damn tasty and I enjoyed drinking it was a little bit sad once it was all finished.