Review: Aberlour 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Aberlour 12 1.jpg
Sherry & Refill Casks; 12 Years
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Aberlour (Aberlour, Scotland)

This really is a classic - an easy, accessible (in terms of distribution and cost), and well made sherried single malt. I like it more than the 10, and I often recommend it. Nice bottle, too.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: LKPK 0871 2016/03/01 14:30

  • Bottling Date: 2016

Not as overtly sherried as the 10 Year Old, but immediately more complex and a bit funkier - though a step below the 16 in complexity and balance. Oak, parmesan, and some very nice dried fruit - cherries, apricots, and raisins. The palate has honey, smoky oak, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a finish that slowly unpacks into oak and spice. For a whisky that isn’t finished or matured in new oak, I am surprised at the amount of oak in the whisky, but it works quite well here. I always find that aberlour does some terrific work with sherry casks – the quality of the sherry is always brilliant in my experience with the distillery.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average at $65.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: LKPN4473 2019/09/13 09:18

  • Bottling Date: 2019

Apple seeds, raisin, berry jam, baking spice, apple jam, and honey. Very nice! The vanilla just grows, and grows with time. The palate is soft, very fruity, and lightly earthy. Oddly enough, in this tasting it’s reminding me significantly of the juicy and fruity ryes in Canada. The tannins grow on the finish, supplemented with baking spice and dried fruit. Just such a lovely balance of jammy fruit, baking spice, and light bitterness.

Of the cheaper end of the Scotch single malts, this remains a favourite.

Recommended (82% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, but on the higher end for Scotch.