[Experiment] Single Malt Experiment - Aberlour A'bunadh 16

I know that in the video I posted yesterday I mentioned I would be back reviewing a single malt in this post, and somehow I did not get it wrong, except it is not going to be a standard single malt review but an experiment review. I was looking for a dram for tonight and came across my Aberlour 16. I have not reviewed it but when I do, I will probably mention that, I my mind, it lacks something, strength, flavour, complexity, particularly as a 16 year old whisky. Now I passed and continued down my cabinet to come across Aberlour A'bunadh. You will remember me mentioning how strong I find it and how much water I tend to add to it to be able to access the flavour in the dram. By this point, I think you know where I am going... Yes, what about mixing both together and see what happens? A weaker one with a stronger one. Is it likely to create a great in-between or is it not likely to work that well. I reckon I am not taking too much of a risk there as they both come from the same distillery and therefore both have the same "whisky DNA". That is why I will still end up with a single malt as all the spirit in my glass will have the same origin! The question is going to be how much of both to mix together. I started with 75% of the 16 and 25% A'bunadh but the A'bunadh was too obvious so upped the 16 in the glass to reach more or less:

-80% Aberlour 16 years old
-20% Aberlour A'bunadh Batch 53

My 16 was bottled at 43% and the A'bunadh at 59.7% so I reckon the end product should be just above 46% ABV.


My tasting notes for this A'bunadh 16:

Nose: The rather 'standard' nose of the 16 has definitely been lifted with the addition of the A'bunadh. More spirit, sherry, floral, chocolate, spices not as creamy and smooth as the 16, a bit of citrus not as much vanilla either. Very pleasant nose I must say!

Palate: Malty, rather spicy and warming, some dark chocolate even bitter chocolate, the sherry is present but it is not overly sweet, some orange pith too.

Finish: Quite long and rather dry, some bitterness to it, ginger, bitter chocolate, hints of nuts.

With Water: The nose becomes sweeter but the citric notes are still present, the sherry too and hints of vanilla. On the palate, it is still spicy but some of the bitterness has disappeared, there is more nuttiness from the sherry, the chocolate is not as dark, some honey and fruit. It is creamier. The finish is still warming but not as dry and bitter either. I must say, it is very enjoyable.

I know I have not done the posts in the right order as I should really have reviewed the 16 first but it so happened that I decided to mix them both tonight and write about the result. I will of course spend more time with the 16 and give it its very own post soon. But as far as this experiment is concerned, I think it has really worked. Adding 20% A'bunadh has completely transformed the 16 by giving it the extra layer I feel it was missing, and if you're not a big fan of bitterness, just add an extra few drops of water to really get, in my opinion, the best of both! To be repeated...

Slàinte!

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