Whisky Focus - Aberfeldy 18 Year Old French Wine Cask Finish Review

Aberfeldy 18 Year Old French Wine Cask Finish Review

11th September 2020
Aberfeldy release a limited edition 18 Year Old Pauillac French Wine Cask Finish.

Aberfeldy 18 Year Old French Wine Cask FinishJohn Dewar's & Sons has unveiled a new limited edition expression of its Highland single malt whisky Aberfeldy, the Aberfeldy 18 Year Old French Wine Cask Finish.

Initially matured for18 years in a combination of American first-fill Bourbon, re-fill and re-char casks, the whisky was then finished for a period of around 4-5 months in French Wine Casks from Pauillac, Bordeaux to impart a deeper flavour profile, and create a perfect balance between Aberfeldy’s honeyed richness and the firm tannins and complexity of Pauillac wines.

Pauillac is one of the most sought-after wine regions in Bordeaux, home to world famous wineries, the appellation produces a collection of fine red wines that are unrivalled in terms of quality. Having the deepest gravel in the Médoc, with some chalk and clay, soils and microclimates play a vital role in Pauillac. In Bordeaux, proximity to the river is also all-important. Vineyards located at the river’s edge bask in a microclimate, and this is where the highest quality wines in Bordeaux are found.

Malt Master, Stephanie MacLeod, carefully monitored maturation and flavour development in the casks until the desired flavour profile had been achieved. Pauillac is a robust wine, so the goal was to use this cask type to complement and elevate the signature character of Aberfeldy, not mask it.

Stephanie comments, "Pauillac casks are the aristocrats of the Médoc, they provide notes of black cherries, blackberries and a cedar wood spice. Aberfeldy’s wonderfully soft signature honey and creamy vanilla notes are invigorated with swathes of plush ripe fruits and lovely nutty aromas to create an incredibly elegant and fruitful whisky."

The Aberfeldy, the Aberfeldy 18 Year Old French Wine Cask Finish has a RRP of £95 it is available today from the Aberfeldy Distillery shop which you can find here www.shop.dewars.com for an exclusive one-month period before being released in the following selected markets: USA, China, Taiwan, Germany, France.

You will also find the current Aberfeldy whisky range available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

Aberfeldy 18 Year Old French Wine Cask Finish Review

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Gentle honey and just a touch of sweet vanilla infused with a enticing fruitiness, apricot, ripe pear, tangerine and some distant blackcurrant. Some light oak spice hiding in the background.

Taste: A lush delivery of ripe sultana, apricot, cherry and honey, deliciously juicy at first which is soon countered by some tannins and lovely drying oak spices.

Finish: Long, the fruit fades first leaving lingering gentle honey, drying oak tannins, oak spice and a little nuttiness.

Comment: The French Wine Cask Finish has certainly added a delicious fruitiness and oak tannin edge to this honeyed Highland dram which has been bottled at a flavoursome 43%, I just wonder how good this would have been with a longer finish and a little higher ABV but as it is and for its price a very enjoyable Highland dram.

SMW Score 89/100

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