When it comes to scotch whisky, single malt is that craze. You hear a lot about single malt scotch is the best, most high quality whisky out there. Now, while this purely comes down to personal preference, there is a reason so many people love single malt scotch. So, here at Barrel & Brew, we’ve decided to review one of our favorites: Aberlour 12 Year.
In this article, we’re going to cover the taste, price, and value of Aberlour. But before we get there, let’s cover some of the history of Aberlour, where it comes from, and what it means to be a single malt scotch.
James Fleming was born in 1830 to a tenant farmer, and after growing up working on the farm, James decided he wanted to do something else. Over the decades, he had done everything from distilling to trading and banking. In 1871, he had moved to the town of Aberlour and begun making a name for himself in the community. 8 years later, in 1879, he opened up the Aberlour distillery.
Shortly before Fleming’s death, he sold his business to his agents in 1892. Current day, though, Aberlour is owned by Pernod Ricard S.A.
Aberlour 12 Year Basics
Before we get into the flavor profile of Aberlour, let’s answer the question, what exactly is Aberlour? Aberlour 12 year is a double cask, single malt scotch from the Speyside region that is aged 12 years. Let’s break it down.
Single malt means that the scotch is made up entirely of 100% malted barley, and it’s produced at a single distillery. Double cask means that the whisky is aged in two separate casks. In this case, ex-bourbon casks and ex-sherry casks. Since the age statement is 12 years, both whiskies must be aged a minimum of 12 years before they are paired together. Lastly, scotch is often classified by the region it came from. Speyside is a region that surrounds the River Spey and produces the two most popular single malt scotch whiskies in the world – Glenlivet and Glenfiddich.
Lastly, Aberlour 12 Year is bottle at 40% ABV (80 proof). If you are interested in learning more about the different types of scotch, or the different types of whiskey, head HERE.
Aberlour 12 Year Taste
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get into the more pertinent information. What does Aberlour taste like, and is it good? Below, is the flavor profile.
Aberlour 12 Year Flavor Profile
Nose: Fruity notes, light wood with some hints of raisin.
Taste: Predominately syrup and chocolate flavors combined with dried fruits. Hints of vanilla and cinnamon.
Finish: Medium length. Smooth with no burn. Fruity spice finish.
Aberlour 12 Year Taste Summary
Before, I had mentioned this to be one of our favorite single malt scotch whiskies, so our review of the taste is going to lean that way. There are a lot of things that are good about Aberlour, and one thing I love. Let’s start with the good.
At 40% ABV, there is more depth, complexity, and fullness to it than you normally get with other 80 proof whiskies. Second, there’s no burn. That balance between smooth and complex is tough to meet, but Aberlour does it.
What I love, though, is the balance of flavors that comes from the double cask. Often times, when something is aged in sherry casks, the fruity flavors can be overwhelming. Similarly, in ex-bourbon casks the flavor can become oaky and leather. This isn’t to say being aged in a single cask is a bad thing at all, but the balance Aberlour 12 Year brings to the table with the double cask is what we enjoy so much.
Aberlour 12 Year Price
For most of us, taste isn’t the only reason we choose to buy or not to buy something. Price is often a very large factor in determining what we purchase and how often we do. Below is the average price of a bottle of Aberlour 12 Year. Please note that prices can largely depend on individual store and location.
- Aberlour 12 Year 750ml: $48-55
Aberlour 12 Year Price Summary
For roughly $50, a bottle of Aberlour certainly isn’t the cheapest whisky on the market, yet it’s not nearly the most expensive either. Single malt scotch is notorious for being expensive, so $50 for a 12-year is actually quite reasonable. With that being said, most of us aren’t able or willing to spend $50 on a bottle all the time, which brings us to our next section.
You can purchase a bottle for delivery on Drizzly HERE.
Aberlour 12 Year Value
In this section, we compare taste and price to determine where the value of a bottle lies. Part of this depends upon your financial situation. If you like the expensive stuff and have the means to purchase it all the time, then Aberlour could very well be a daily drinker for you. However, most of us are probably better off saving our bottle of Aberlour 12 Year for special guests, occasions, or celebrations.
Here at Barrel & Brew, we typically drink Aberlour with close friends and family around a fire pit, during holidays, or to celebrate birthdays and milestones. This typically results in us enjoying a bottle every month or every other month.
While the 12 Year is Aberlour’s base selection, they have other options in their lineup as well. Below, I’ll add a quick word about each of the others.
A’bunadh means ‘original’ in Gaelic. This is a cask-strength version of Aberlour and each barrel is different. As a cask strength whisky, each bottle will come in around the 60% ABV mark, give or take.
16 Year and 18 Year
The same as Aberlour 12, but aged an extra 4 and 6 years, respectively. I have not had the 18 Year, but in my personal opinion, the 16 Year was not worth the additional price in comparison to the 12 Year.
Aberlour Casg Annamh
Meaning ‘rare cask’ in Gaelic, this selection comes from hand picked casks and is bottled at 48%.
Aberlour 12 Year Summary
Aberlour 12 Year is a deliciously smooth single malt scotch that comes in at a fair price point, not a cheap one. obviously, we like Aberlour and have given it a very good review, but the best way to determine if you like it is to go buy a bottle yourself.
The Speyside region of Scotland produces some of the best and most well known single malt scotch whiskies, and Aberlour is right in line with them. The balance of complexity, smoothness, and its flavors is what makes a bottle so great.
Aberlour 12 Year FAQ
Below are some frequently asked questions about Aberlour. Many of these are answered in the article above.
How Should I Drink Aberlour?
Aberlour should be drunken neat or on the rocks.
Is Aberlour Good?
Here at Barrel & Brew, Aberlour is one of our favorite scotch whiskies to drink. It also has predominately favorable reviews, but you should try a bottle for yourself.
What Type of Whisky is Aberlour?
It is a single malt scotch from the Speyside region of Scotland.