The Aberlour 12 year-old expression is a fine example of how the distinctively crisp, citrus character of Aberlours raw spirit is deftly softened by double cask maturation. Traditional oak and seasoned Sherry butts are both used to great effect, as the mellowed spirits within are combined to deliver a subtly balanced flavour.
Nose: Fruity with a ton of red grapefruit, cape gooseberry, kiwi, and decadent refined honey. Very floral as well, with a heady cloud of lemon verbena and honeysuckle. All of the fruits seem fresh and tart as opposed to the usual Aberlour dark red and black fruits. This is downright summery.
Palate: Syrupy body. Honey again, with almost no tongue burn at all. Dried apricots and golden figs replace the tart fruits from the aroma. There is a faint layer of oakiness, mostly with notes of cinnamon and vanilla.
Finish: Medium-short. The finish is a little muddled. The fruit notes are not clear, and the spicy oak notes are now marred with slightly acrid bitterness. Ends somewhat quickly, without evolving. This situation improves with further sips, which build up a little more sweetness to balance the bitterness.
With Water: A few drops of water mix up the fruits and flowers on the aroma – making them harder to place. The palate seems thinner, but the finish has more fruit. I would probably skip the water, since I liked the aroma so much in the first place.
Aberlour is a distillery of Speyside single malt Scotch whisky, in Aberlour, Strathspey, Scotland.