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Friday, February 18, 2022

Aberlour 12 year old Non Chill-Filtered

I prefer independent bottlers' bourbon cask Aberlours over the official sherry cask releases. Even the a'bunadhs haven't wowed me. But when Pernod Ricard chose to add a non-chillfiltered age-stated 48% whisky to the official Aberlour range in 2013, that did pique my interest. Yet not so much that almost a decade didn't squirm away until I actually tried it. And now it appears as if they've phased it out. It's become scarce the US, and there's not much of it to be found via online European retailers.

This was the third whisky in last Saturday's Taste Off. How did it compare to the mediocre 10yo and 40%abv 12yo?

Distillery: Aberlour
Ownership: Pernod Ricard
Region: Speyside (Banffshire)
Age: at least 12 years
Maturation: bourbon casks and sherry casks (I think)
Alcohol by Volume: 48%
Bottling year: ~2018
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? No
(from a purchased sample)


Right up front, I find almond extract and Walker's shortbread biscuits (a note that reader Florin put in my brain many years back) on the nose. Some of the pear notes remain, but they're overwhelmed by lime candy and white nectarines. Little bits of malt and milk chocolate linger in the background.

The palate has less sweetness and more oomph than the other two Aberlours. One may find dried apricots and dried sweet potatoes on top; toasted barley and toasted oak in the middle; good bitterness, salt and lemon way in the back.

It has a decent-length finish, that's most heat but still has some salt, bitterness, citrus and the dried sweet potatoes.


The grownup 48/NCF/NC presentation certainly gave this whisky a boost over its siblings. It reads thicker and fuller, with a nice nose and fair finish. But it's also not a home run, more like a single, as opposed to the regular 12 and 10's groundouts. I'm afraid I'm still unsold on the official Aberlours. If I can source the older bottlings, I'll report back.

Availability - Probably discontinued
Pricing - uncertain, searches and databases mix this up with the regular 12
Rating - 83

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