Carefully crafted and limited to a handful of batches a year, the Abunadh (pronounced, A-boone-ah) pays homage to James Fleming, founder of the distillery and is a tribute to yesteryear, when age old practices were purely traditional and simple. Explains why the distillery pinned this specific expression with the Gaelic term “Abunadh“, meaning “of the origins“.
The inspiration to this bottling bore fruit when maintenance work sometime in the 70s at the distillery led a few workmen to stumble across a time capsule that housed a bottle of Aberlour wrapped in newspaper from the year 1898. Blending between casks wasn’t all too common then, and spirits were usually poured directly from the barrel, so it made all the more sense that this expression too remained true.
The Abunadh was introduced in 1997, with batch 66 being the last available bottling in 2019. The expression is age deficit and exclusively matured in European ex-oloroso casks hand picked from Southern Spain, giving that dark woody tinge to the spirit. At cask strength, non chill filtered and free from artificial colouring, the whisky is untainted, keeping more of those original flavours intact.
Batch : 57.
Year of bottling : 2016.
ABV : 60.7%
Eye : Auburn, Mahogany
Nose : Smoke and praline initially flood the nose, followed by woody nuances and a mix of floral notes, almond crumble, dates and red grapes. A silent yet subtle pineapple tartness is superseded by dark chocolate shards and nutmeg.
Taste : Begins with the introduction of ripe, plump sultanas that have been soaked in rum; a drizzle of honey over sticky caramel pudding with chunks of candied plums, cherries and nectarines chucked roughly over the sides. Sprinkled over the top is powdered white pepper, nutmeg and cloves, offering a mild spice that carefully subdues the rich sweetness.
Finish : Ripe sultanas and grapes with a luscious play of nutmeg
The Abunadh is a lovely consummation of red stone fruits, grapes and dried fruits, comforted by the warmth of cloves and nutmeg. Oily and sherry affinite, the spirit can be quite harsh due to the high ABV, delivering warmth and possibly some burn. Dilution however diffuses the caramel, exposing several layers sandwiching charred wood, red grapes, dates, plums and cinnamon. The spirit is lovingly silky, well rounded and extremely palatable.
This highland wonder delivers sherry in dollops, and is a must have to those who love their share of oloroso cask maturation. Very sweet, yet complex with heaps of depth; this whisky is a great value for money, cask-strength bottling that doesn’t tear holes in the pocket but delivers an enjoyable experience with money still to spare.
Preference : Neat or diluted to around 35-40% ABV.