#013 • Aberlour 12 Double Cask Matured

43% alc./vol.
Aberlour Distillery, Aberlour, Speyside, Scotland

Funny that I spoke of Pope Maard as an analogy to Kilbeggan rarity 18 years earlier this week, my good friend Benedict XVI having resigned this morning. He would have given as his reason "Online, it's not the same" ... The good news is that from now on I will be able to quote him ...

Now that this is behind us, let's move on to tonight's star, the double-aged Aberlour 12. Double maturation because it has aged for eleven years in bourbon casks, then finished its last year in Spanish sherry casks, or sherry in sarcastic language.

I bought this scotch during the holidays, and as evidenced by its level (only half of it remains), it is quite exquisite ...

Nose:
Grape, ice wine, very fruity. That's what strikes first, presumably caused by the sherry barrels. We're taking a break. The second nose reveals its original barley as well as the oak from its first maturation. If it is smoked again after a first sip, the barley returns, topped by caramel and toffee. It practically smells like Cheerios with honey and nuts.

Taste:
As much as it seemed to me perhaps too sweet on the nose, it confuses me once in the mouth. There is a lot going on there. The texture is honeyed, even oily. Grapes, barley, fruit and icewine blend together admirably and without being too overwhelming.

Finish:
Good length that starts with a barley and caramel combo and stretches a bit over sherry and grapes. It is not to break everything but I am not suffering either. Without emotion.

Balance:
Nice climb, but the finish is a bit too potato for my taste. I would say this is the most Kool-Aid my whiskeys to date. He would do wonderfully after passing the mower one afternoon in July.

That hasn't stopped me from drinking half a bottle since the New Year. This is for bugs sugar, we like or we do not like ..

Note: ★★★★★

#003 • Glenlivet 16 years Nàdurra • Batch 1111Q

54.2% alc./vol.
Glenlivet Distillery, Ballindalloch, Speyside, Scotland

We all know the Glenlivet, including its 12-aged expression, which is the Scottish single-malt top selling in the United States. But here's something else, the one that some people call the bad boy of Glenlivet, the Nàdurra 16 years.

Nàdurra is a Gaelic word (again) that means "natural". Glenlivet means that they distilled this expression with the good old ways of the nineteenth century. What difference does it make? No idea ... What hangs me on the other hand is that it's a Cask Strength. That is to say, it is not diluted to lower its alcohol level between the drum and the bottle, which makes it much more tasty.

I admit to having had difficulty resisting the purchase, this bottle being the penultimate of my branch.

Nose:
Thick malt and vanilla immediately jump to the nose. Then cinnamon, sugar cane and hint of apple. Sweet for a Cask Strength, we would expect to burn the nostrils of alcohol more than that. Cherry?

Taste:
Before the alcohol hits you can discern honey and cinnamon. Its 54% alcohol boosts cinnamon, and a slight smoke at the end helps to gently decompose it.

Finish:
Long, long, long and sweet ... Flowers and cinnamon as far as the eye can see.

Balance:
A bell-shaped curve. Sweet and sweet on the nose, almost devious, and then explosion in the mouth. Then we keep a tasty cinnamon apple that fades quietly until we ask for more.

Note: ★★★★★