Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Aberfeldy - 12 year old

I'VE spent several enjoyable holidays in the Perthshire village of Kenmore, and every journey there involves taking a drive through Aberfeldy. It's impossible to miss the distillery on a visit to the town, but finding this single malt out in the wild is a rather more difficult task.
    This is partly due to the fact that most of the whisky produced at this splendid distillery goes into Dewar’s world famous blends, leaving Aberfeldy's 12 and 21-year-old single malts to fend for themselves.
    On the nose, the 40% 12-year-old is very sweet, with honey, peaches, fresh pineapple and hard-boiled barley sugars coming to the fore, while a wisp of peaty smoke lingers in the background.
    On the palate, the whisky is sweet and delicious with an almost liqueur-like viscosity, with golden syrup and honey coating the mouth before a bouquet of floral notes dance across the tongue.
    The finish is sweet, spicy and dry with hints of orange and ginger, while there's also a small dab of liquorice tucked away in the background.
    There's not a great deal of complexity here, but then, sometimes you just want an easy going dram after a hard day, and Aberfeldy 12 certainly hits the spot. It's fairly cheap, too, and you should be able to pick up a bottle for less than £30. What's not to like?

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Balvenie Doublewood - 12 year old

THIS particular dram was suggested to me by one of my friends on Twitter - take a bow Mr Graeme Strachan. It took me a few months to finally get round to purchasing it, but it was well worth the wait - I just wish I had bought it sooner.
    The Balvenie distillery is located in Dufftown, Banffshire and was founded by the Grant family in 1892 - the same family who also kickstarted the Kininvie and Glenfiddich distilleries. The distillery grows and malts its own barley and claims to be unique in this process. So, a rich history, then, and it's clear when tasting the Doublewood 12 that great care has been taken to ensure a fine, balanced single malt which is widely touted as a great introduction to the wide and wonderful world of whisky.
    The Doublewood is botted at 40% and takes its name from the two oak casks involved in its maturation. The spirit is first matured in traditional oak before being transferred towards the end of its maturation process to a first-fill European oak sherry cask. This rounds off the whisky, giving it added depth and enhances its character.
    On the nose, the Doublewood is full of juicy green apples, which eventually give way to stewed soft fruit, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon. Spend a little time with it, and vanilla notes and honey-drizzled oak come through, while there is the faintest hint of cocoa buried underneath. On the palate there's bags of vanilla and caramel notes mixed with the slight bitterness of orange rind. The finish is quite short but there's definitely black coffee and cracked black pepper here, together with a hint of walnuts.
    This is a fantastic, every day dram which is beautifully balanced and makes a great after supper sipper. Definitely one to try.