Whisky Focus - Aberfeldy 18 Year Old Finished In French Red Wine Casks

Aberfeldy 18 Year Old Finished In French Red Wine Casks

17th September 2021
Aberfeldy 18 Year Old Batch 2921 finished in French Red Wine Casks from the Côte Rôtie appellation is the third limited edition in the distillery's French Red Wine Cask Collection.

Aberfeldy 18 Year Old finished in French Red Wine Casks from the Côte Rôtie appellation.John Dewar & Sons has unveiled the third limited edition in its Aberfeldy French Red Wine Cask Collection, this latest expression from The Golden Dram is Aberfeldy 18 Year Old Batch 2921 which has been finished in French Red Wine Casks from the Côte Rôtie appellation.

Aberfeldy’s French Red Wine Cask Collection launched back in 2019 with the first release of Aberfeldy 15 Year Old, finished in Pomerol casks from Bordeaux, the second release in 2020 was an 18 Year Old expression finished in Pauillac casks, also from Bordeaux. For the third bottling in the series, Malt Master, Stephanie Macleod has chosen a robust yet elegant style of wine for this year’s offering.

The famous Côte Rôtie is a prestigious red wine appellation at the northern tip of France’s Rhône Valley. The area is a mere 40 miles long and is responsible for a tiny 4–5% of all the wines from the region. Côte Rôtie, translated as “Roasted Slope”, is home to some of the steepest vineyards in all of France.

Wines are predominantly made from the Syrah grape, which thrives in the well-draining granite soils, offering depth of flavour and complex aromatics with dark red berry characteristics and sensuous, silky textures that caress the palate. Up to 20 percent of Viognier can be used, adding finesse, elegance and floral characteristics to the wine.

Aberfeldy’s Malt Master, Stephanie Macleod comments: "This style of wine has got these wonderful fruity notes, but also floral notes and so it’s just a match made in heaven for Aberfeldy. These wine casks don’t come around very often, so we when we were offered them we snapped them up immediately." Adding: "The day they came on to our site we opened them up and I gave them a nose - it was just amazing, I felt there and then this was going to work."

Aberfeldy says that these casks have bestowed expressive and seductive qualities on their aged malt resulting in a refined smoothness and fruits with luscious, red berry characteristics. Stephanie added: "This sumptuous dram is bursting with intense, rich fruity red berry notes of raspberry, lingonberry and red currents smothered in honey. It’s deeply evocative of an Eton Mess as the sugariness and the sharpness of the berries come through. A zing of candied citrus peel brings balance before mellowing to a smooth vanilla and butterscotch sweetness."

Aberfeldy 18 Year Old, French Red Wine Cask finish is bottled at 43% ABV and has a RRP of £95 and will be available in limited runs, initially from the distillery’s online shop from 1st September, and then will roll out in the following main markets: USA, Taiwan, China, Germany and France with smaller volumes to be made available in Austria, Sweden Singapore and Malaysia.

You will soon find Aberfeldy 18 Year Old, French Red Wine Cask finish available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, Amazon and Master of Malt

Aberfeldy 18 Year Old Batch 2921 Review

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: An ever so slightly sweet candied mix of sultana, raisin and red apple infused with honey and caramel, distant lemon, a little gentle spice and a equally gentle floral note lurking in the background.

Taste: Red berry and hedgerow fruit infused with honey and spice leads, followed by a wee touch of vanilla, creamy milk chocolate, some late pepper.

Finish: The fruits bitters out leaving a little honey, nutmeg and some lovely mouth coating lingering pepper and drying oak tannins.

Comment: The French Wine Cask Finish has made a light red berry and hedgerow fruit impact on this 18 year old honeyed Highland dram and given it a lovely oak tannin edge.

SMW Whisky Score 85/100

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