Aged for a minimum of 16 years in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, this whisky earned a score of 95 points from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2012.
Situated at the confluence of the Lour and Spey Rivers in Strathspey, Aberlour Distillery was founded in 1879 by James Fleming. Fleming, who was the son of a local tenant farmer, ultimately became a grain dealer in the middle of the 19th century. At the time, he counted a number of whisky distilleries as his customers, and after purchasing more barley than he was able to sell, Fleming decided to open a distillery himself.
In 1898, a fire consumed much of Aberlour Distillery and its inventory of whisky. Following its destruction, the distillery was rebuilt under the supervision of Charles Doig — Scotland's foremost expert of whisky distilleries at the time. While the composition of the distillery and its equipment has inevitably been altered over the past century, Aberlour's commitment to traditional craftsmanship and quality single malt whisky has remain unchanged.
Aberlour Single Malt Whisky is made exclusively from Scottish barley, which is malted for approximately seven days before being dried above an unpeated kiln. Once the barley has been dried, it is milled and mashed with water drawn from St. Drostan's Well. The well, which has been the distillery's source for water for over a century, was named after a missionary who used water from the well to baptise inhabitants in 580 AD. After the barley has been mashed, it is fermented before being twice-distilled through Aberlour's copper-pot stills. The stills enjoy broad bases to expose as much direct heat as possible to the wash, and are equipped with swan-shaped necks which capture only the most pure vapors during distillation.
Following distillation, Aberlour 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured in a combination of American oak casks that were previously used to mature bourbon and European oak casks that were previously used to mature Oloroso sherry. Oloroso sherry is a dark and nutty type of fortified wine, and the used Oloroso casks impart subtle yet sweet notes of dried fruits, caramel, plums and cherries to the whisky, and contribute an incredible layer of complexity.
Aberlour 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky has a rich aroma of raisins, prunes and figs. The aroma gives way to notes of toasted almonds, red fruits (particularly plums) and baking spices on the palate. The finish is warm and spicy, with touches of honeyed oak, ginger and citrus lingering.
Aberlour 16 Year Old earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a score of 90-95 points from Wine Enthusiast. In addition, it earned a score of 95 points from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2012.
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86 (43% ABV)
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Rich aroma of raisins, prunes and figs. Toasted almonds, red fruits (particularly plums) and baking spices on the palate. Finish is warm and spicy, with touches of honeyed oak, ginger and citrus lingering.