Whisky review: Aberlour A’bunadh

Adam Lowe

How are you celebrating Burns’ Night 2017? We’ve been hunting around for an exceptional single malt to recommend to our readers this year, and the jury is now in. Tomorrow, we invite you to raise a glass of Aberlour A’bunadh from the world renowned Aberlour distillery.

Aberlour A’bunadh, the cult favourite scotch, is a whisky which honours the original vision of its founder and pays tribute to the time-honoured methods honed over 130 years of traditional whisky production. Recreating the original style of Aberlour whisky from the 19th Century, it’s a smooth and classy way to enjoy old-school whisky.

Founded in 1879 in Speyside, Scotland, Aberlour is a small and intimate distillery. From its pioneering beginnings, Aberlour has won an outstanding list of trophies and gold medals. Its range of single malt whisky includes 12-year old, 16-year old and 18-year old varieties, as well as the hand-crafted A’bunadh, and are renowned with experts the world over for their exceptional quality.

Robert Burns once said that ‘freedom and whisky gang thegither’. Notorious for his love of a good single malt, the tipple appears in a number of Burns’ most enduring works. In his honour, Scots around the world come together to celebrate the poet’s birth with a supper of haggis, neeps and tatties – accompanied, at least for the adults, with a fine whisky.

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Gaelic for ‘of the origin’, A’bunadh is as intriguing as its tale. During the installation of two new stills in 1975, workmen discovered a time capsule buried in the distillery’s exterior walls. It contained an historic bottle of Aberlour wrapped in a newspaper from 1898. As a lovenote in reply to that message from the past, A’bunadh is an endeavour to re-create the original style of Aberlour whisky.

Founder James Fleming established the process of using carefully selected Spanish Oloroso sherry butts to enhance the whisky’s distinctive rich and complex notes. Avoiding the use of modern chill-filtering methods, A’bunadh is consequently a dark, luxurious whisky encompassing flavours of spiced orange, black cherry, praline, raisin, ginger and dark chocolate. It’s made with pure, soft spring water from nearby springs which pass through mossy waterfalls and wooded glens. The result is an indulgent dram with an intense taste.

This 2016 IWSC award-winning cask strength Scotch whisky is made by hand and released in small batches, achieving cult status among whisky enthusiasts. It’s reputation is justly earned, and you’d be amiss to skip it this Burns Night!

RRP: Aberlour A’Bunadh 70cl 60%: £49.65.

Available in select Waitrose stores and The Whisky Exchange. For further information about the Aberlour, please visit aberlour.com.

About Adam Lowe

Adam Lowe is an award-winning author, editor and publisher from Leeds, now based in Manchester. He runs Dog Horn Publishing and is Director and Writing Coordinator for Young Enigma, a writer development programme for LGBT young people. He sometimes performs as Beyonce Holes.