[Review] Aberlour - 16 years old 43%

Back for a new whisky year with a single malt I have mentioned in previous blog but have still not come round to reviewing, the Aberlour 16. I previously did an experimental review in which I mixed 80% of the 16 with 20% of the A'bunadh to create what I called the A'bunadh 16. I did mention at the time that the 16 was, in my mind, lacking something in terms of strength particularly, but I left it there without any more information. That is the reason why I thought it was time to give the 16 its own review.
I bought my bottle of 16 about two years ago whilst in France. It was on offer in one of the main supermarket and for the equivalent of £20/£25 at the time, I thought it was worth giving it a try. Being the French version, mine is actually bottled at 43%ABV compared to the 40% versions I found in the UK, so it should be a tad stronger, without blowing your head off like with the A'bunadh. The 16 is 'double matured' whisky which means that it was aged both in Traditional oak and Sherry oak. You would therefore expect some spiciness from the traditional oak as well as some sweetness and fruitiness from the Sherry oak, particularly after 16 years spent in casks. So let's have a closer look at it.

Unlike the A'bunadh, the 16 years old is bottled at 43% and nothing on the bottle states that it is unchill-filtered or natural colour, so I presume the whsiky has been coloured and chill-filtered. The colour is not too dark, more of a pale amber.

Nose: Quite sweet and creamy with notes of raisins, toffee and sherry, some vanilla and chocolate. It is also quite floral despite hints of maltiness. 

Palate: Sweet and spicy, creamy again with chocolate, plum and honey. Pleasant and easy-drinking but no strong/bold flavours. It is quite a gentle dram on the palate.

Finish: Warm and sweet again, honey, sherry and oak notes, hints of ginger. Not amazingly long finish...

With water: Not much difference. Even with my 43% version, it doesn't feel like water is necessary. The nose might have become a bit spicier, the palate is just sweet honey with hints of spices and the finish is just hints of spicy oak. It really doesn't need water, so if you add some, 2 drops should suffice. 

All in all, the Aberlour 16 is a pleasant older single malt. It is very easy-drinking if you want a mix of sweet fruit and spicy oak, and quite easy to access in terms of flavours. I would however suggest a few drops of A'bunadh (if you have a bottle at hand) to properly lift it up! 


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