Whisky Review: Aberfeldy 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch

, | October 26, 2021

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Aberfeldy. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

My journey in whisky began as many others’: with a misstep in college that led to over a decade of avoidance of brown liquor as a rule. As I matured, so did my palate and my desire to give it a go once more. That is when I was introduced to the world of single malts. Scotch has defined my preferences in whisky ever since. Both my appreciation for the craft, and the flavors that define a well-aged, balanced spirit that can be sipped, shared, and enjoyed in any setting.

As the main flavoring ingredient to its parent company’s eponymous blend, Dewar’s, it is obvious from the first taste of this 12-year-old Aberfeldy why this easy sipper would be a choice in crafting a blended whisky. It is bold but balanced and has a strong enough flavor profile to stand on its own, as well as smooth out the edges of the base alcohol utilized in Dewar’s blends. The Aberfeldy distillery has welcomed visitors since 1898 and aside from a few hiccups and closures over the last 123 years, has been distilling their “liquid gold” ever since. The whimsical connection comes both from its light color and from the waters and land that it is distilled from, known to be rich in the valuable mineral.

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The competition in the Scotch world is thick. There are large distillers like Macallan and boutique operations such as BenRomach. What sets this Highland single malt apart from the others? Does it keep to the traditional flavor profile of the Highland region?

Aberfeldy 12-Year-Old (image via John Dover)

Aberfeldy 12-Year-Old (image via John Dover)

Tasting Notes: Aberfeldy 12-Year-Old

Vital Stats: 40% ABV, Aged 12 years in oak, $47. Aberfeldy, Scotland.

Appearance: A light honey color

Nose: Dried apricot and red apple come forward first. The fruity notes are followed by leather and oak. Gently charred raw sugar hits next with a nutty quality that finishes out the nose with the sharp spice of clove.

Palate: Nice, quickly dissipating heat that wakes up the palate. It has a buttery flavor laced with apple, dried fruit and a hint of citrus. The fruity flavors are followed by oak and a bit of salinity. Spiciness from baking spices like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg add to the balanced bite. The finish is smooth adding to the ease of drinking this Highland sipper.

The Takeaway
4.5

Summary

Sometimes all you want is a smooth sipper with enough character to bring you back, dram after dram. And for the price, this single malt is a perfect addition to most anyone’s liquor cabinet. Aberfeldy leans heavily into the Highland flavor palate with a less smokey nature and more fruit and spice. It does this in a balanced approach and with enough body to stand on its own in a field of tasty contenders.

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User Review
2.84 (80 votes)

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John Dover

As the creator and writer of “Johnny Scotch”, John Dover has built his Jazz Noir world from the music he is immersed in on a daily basis and from his travels across the US as a professional musician. John continues to build the “Johnny Scotch” library through short stories, and...