Not Very Scientific 1 – 16 Year Old Aberlour

(“A good gulp of hot whiskey at bedtime – it’s not very scientific but it helps” – Alexander Fleming)

I’ve decided that, as a bit of a – connoisseur is the wrong word, since I am no-one’s idea of an expert, but addict is perhaps a little harsh – an appreciator, of good whiskey, I would occasionally witter about it, online, for the amusement of anyone who might care.

(Caveat – what I say may bear no resemblance whatever to what is written on the label of any given whiskey as a guide to flavour. I am not a professional taster in any way at all, and react on a purely personal level. Also, I tend to add water; no less than a half the amount of whiskey, no more than double. For me it brings out the flavours. I am aware that others may regard this as blasphemy of a high order).

Onto the whiskey; a birthday present recently received by the beloved.

The bottle itself is pleasing. It’s a fat, cosy, slightly squat shape. It looks friendly. The colour of the whiskey is rich and deep.

The nose is rich too – very sweet. Treacle toffee and the warm coconutty scent of gorse flowers. There’s another subtly floral aroma which was hard to identify – the closest I could get was the scent of pansies; a scent that only seems to emerge in sunlight.

The whiskey hits the tip of the tongue with spice, but the first impression in the mouth is very light and sweet. Then the spice comes back in underneath, strong and gingery.

Once you’re partway down the glass, there’s a slight aroma of peardrops – just a hint of sweet acetone – and Parma violets. It sounds unpleasant, put like that, but in fact it’s interesting and wakes you up again to the changing flavour. There’s more citrus in the spice now, the ginger still pungent but cut with lemon.

And, right in the last third – there’s a surprise – a sudden savour. Smokey bacon. Seriously. Proper, crisp, sweetcure bacon; just the flavour, not the meat, like an aptly-summoned and pleasing ghost.

Altogether a subtle, layered, interesting drink.

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