First new bottle of the new year, it’s fitting. As a new bottle with no expectations I am in effect an initiate and this is true for every first tasting. Bring no baggage with you and you will benefit in your sampling. Thinking that you know how something will turnout can only dampen the experience; either by confirming your bias; it becomes as expected or it blocks the openness required to pick up on subtleties that take time to develop. So I venture with a blank slate.
Tabula rasa is a good approach to an initial tasting, this is part of the enjoyment of whisky, palate discoveries. The other thing that I enjoy is discovery through research, wanting to know more and reading can add to the vocabulary needed for description. Broadening what I know sometimes with other more/or less knowledgeable people with equally passionate views adds to the dialogue and enjoyment. Either by hook or crook (read; purchase, gift, exchange or random) there is no bad way to experience a new experience. I know with circular, but it’s my circle so grab a dram and friend and have at it.
Aberfeldy 12yr is actually the first entry, so fitting.
Aberfeldy 12 is a single malt Highland Scotch Whisky, the Highlands are reputed to be light and floral (I just read this post tasting) and the Aberfeldy 12 plays well into that trope.
The nose is sweet with fruitiness in the front and then mellows out to a floral orange, kinda like if Triple Sec wasn’t syrupy and maybe just a hint of young oak to balance it out.
The palate takes the floral notes and turns them into orange honey, pleasantly covering the lips with a light gloss. The mouth feel is a smooth and pleasant, very palatable and easy to consume. It is not a challenging whisky, but rather an inviting one.
The finish is a sweet that lasts with a touch of spice. It also lingers longer than one would expect from the light touch, kind of like a good friend at a party trying to say goodbye to everyone there. You say goodbye to them and then it takes them a while longer to actually leave (in a good way).
Aberfeldy is a product of Dewars, reputed for its blended scotch whiskies, when Dewars acquired Aberfeldy they decided to keep a portion of the bottling as a separate independant single malt. Well done Dewars. This is a great bottle for the newcomer to single malts, it’s inviting and easy and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s also relatively cheap for a 12 year, grab it and share it.