New Aberfeldy 18 Year Whisky Finished In French Red Wine Casks

By Gary Carter / September 7, 2021

John Dewar & Sons recently announced its latest limited single malt whisky, Aberfeldy 18 Years Old, finished in French red wine casks from France’s wine-making region Côte Rôtie.

Aberfeldy’s French Red Wine Cask Collection launched in 2019 with the first release of Aberfeldy 15 Year Old, finished in Pomerol casks from Bordeaux. The second release in 2020 was an 18 Year Old expression finished in Pauillac casks, also from Bordeaux.

For the third bottling in the series, Malt Master Stephanie Macleod chose what’s described as a robust and elegant style of wine for the most recent offering.

Aberfeldy 18 Years Old, French Red Wine Cask

Aberfeldy 18 Years Old, French Red Wine Cask (image via Aberfeldy)

The Côte Rôtie is a well-known red wine appellation at the northern tip of France’s Rhône Valley. The area is only 40 miles long and is responsible for only about five percent of all the wines from the region. Côte Rôtie, translated as “Roasted Slope,” is home to some of the steepest vineyards in all of France.

Wines from this region are predominantly made from the Syrah grape, which thrives in the well-draining granite soils, offering depth of flavor and complex aromatics with dark red berry characteristics and silky textures.

Aberfeldy’s malt master, Macleod, said in a prepared statement this style of wine “has these wonderful fruity notes, but also floral notes and so it’s just a match made in heaven for Aberfeldy. These wine casks don’t come around very often, so when we were offered them, we snapped them up immediately.”

“The day they came on to our site we opened them up and I gave them a nose,” she recalled. “It was just amazing, I felt then and there this was going to work.”

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Aberfeldy’s aged malt along with these casks, Macleod noted, have brought about a refined smoothness to the whisky hinting at fruits with rich, red berry characteristics.

She went on to explain that this dram “is bursting with intense, rich fruity red berry notes of raspberry, lingonberry and red currents smothered in honey. It’s deeply evocative of an Eton Mess as the sugariness and the sharpness of the berries come through. A zing of candied citrus peel brings balance before mellowing to a smooth vanilla and butterscotch sweetness.”

Aberfeldy 18 Years Old, French Red Wine Cask finish is bottled at 86 proof and has a suggested retail price of £95 / €99 / $120 US.