[Review] Akashi White Oak 15 years old & Aberlour 25 years old OMC

A bit of a different post today as I am not going to review one bottle with the standard depth of information and notes but instead, two bottles that I got to sample a few days ago thanks to a friend of mine. These two bottles are discontinued and pretty rare so I am just going to stick with my overall impression of both.

The first one I tried was the Aberlour 25 years old, distilled in May 1988 and bottled in November 2013 by Hunter Laing to commemorate the 15th anniversary of their Old Malt Cask series. This Aberlour was aged cask 13604, a refill hogshead. On the nose, nothing too crazy, some citrus fruit and freshly cut laurel. The palate became much fruitier and tangier with orange and lemon notes as well as fruity starburst sweets. At 52.3% abv, the alcohol is there with a little heat but nothing over the top. A very good whisky that you won't probably find around any time soon...

Hunter Laing released 6 Anniversary Old Malt Cask bottles. As well as this Aberlour, there was also a 1988 Tamdhu 25 years old (which my friend also has but does not rate at all), a 1991 Glen Scotia 22 years old, a 1984 Caol Ila 29 years old (which I would love to try...), a 1988 Macallan 25 years old and a 1992 Ardbeg 21 years old. All of them came into a wooden crate with a very neat and traditional presentation.

Picture from www.thewhiskyexchange.com
After this first dram, he got a second bottle out. This one was a plain bottle with no label as he had to decant the original one. He didn't tell me what it was at first but the smell and colour were leading me in the direction of Port Charlotte but the taste changed my mind. He told me this whisky was 15 years old, the first 12.5 of which were spent in an ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry cask before spending a further 2.5 years in a virgin Konara oak cask (same family as the Mizunara oak), which obviously took me from Scotland to Japan. That's when he told me that this was a 15 years old single cask Akashi White Oak. 
The colour was pretty dark, the nose was rich with some earthy sherry and a touch of savoury smoke, the palate was mind-blowing. All I can describe it as, is a mix of sherried tar and sweet rubber. A big hitter. The finish was very long as a couple of hour later I still had the taste of sweet and earthy fuel in my mouth. These notes might sound disgusting but I absolutely loved it. What a shame it is not more easily available! 

Picture from www.blackmarketsake.com
Once again, a big thank you to Matt who shared these wonderful bottles with me!


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