Nestled amongst the rolling heather filled hills of the Highlands is Aberfeldy Distillery.
This distillery was founded by John Dewar & Sons Ltd in 1896 and remains with the company to this day! It only briefly closed down during World War I and II due to barley shortages, as most distilleries did.
It is also home to the Dewar’s World of Whisky, where visitors can learn everything they’ve ever wanted to know about the Dewar’s brand as well as the distillery itself.
For those of you who aren’t travelling to Aberfeldy anytime soon, or for those who just want to know a little bit more about their range, here we’re taking a closer look at what Aberfeldy has to offer.
Lets begin with the youngest, the 12 Year Old.
This is smooth and easy going expression that reflects some of the fruity and smoky characteristics of the Highland region.
The nose introduces these with a sophisticated whiff of cigar smoke and plump fruits swelling up in the nostrils. Underneath it all are subtle herby delights such as peppermint and the odd taste of fresh cut grass.
The grass grows into a citrusy tang that melds with the developing malty hints. The wood of barrel really comes through in this malt flavour.
The Highland sweetness continues, as does the quiet peatedness that lurks gently in the background. This is a malt that pays homage to all the flavours of its region.
The finish rounds off nicely, with the smoke and citrus fruits lasting just long enough to be really appreciated.
The next malt in Aberfeldy’s catalogue is the 18 Year Old. Much like the sophistication of the 12, this is a refined and easy-going expression.
Your first inhalation of the 18 Year Old will give you a delicate hint of smoke and sweet oak wood. There is a nutty undertone that blossoms softly underneath the peat.
The palate takes the oaky sweetness and develops it into a lightly spiced vanilla and dull honeyed malt. The honey is also reflected in the smooth, creamy mouth feel that coats the tongue beautifully.
This malt is quite warming and homely, the perfect dram to appreciate on a golden autumn day.
And this autumn day is perfectly captured in the 18 Year Old’s finish. It ends with a warming hum that rounds off the sweetness and subtle smoke throughout.
The final Aberfeldy expression is the flagship 21 Year Old. This is an exquisite expression. Just like its siblings, this is an easy-going dram that still offers a complex and exciting palate.
The nose begins with a kick of honeyed sweetness and a slight citrus tang. There is also a biscuity malted quality that chimes perfectly with the zesty citrus.
These flavours are exploded in the mouth. The sweetness becomes a full-bodied vanilla with herby notes of heather and basil. The citrus expands and becomes lemons, limes and candied oranges that burst over the taste buds.
The malt remains subtle and somewhat delicate, but definitely has a presence. It combines with delicate wisps of smoke to create the perfect dullness to complement the piquant citrus fruits.
The honey of the nose returns in the finish, which is gentle and lasting. The lemons and limes dissipate slowly and leave a fresh reminder of this complex and intricate dram.
The Aberfeldy range is full of the typical characteristics of Highlands malte but is also free spirited and richly complex.
There is something here everyone and the range can be enjoyed by new and old drammers alike.