Bought: Sainsbury’s, 6th April 2015
88.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
80.24/100 – Whiskybase (average from 27 member votes)
90/100 – Whisky Bitch (her video review below)
I feel sorry for the Aberlour 12yo. If you want a nice, inexpensive sherry Speysider, and you hear about Aberlour, you go for the 10yo. If you enjoy it and want to take your experience of Aberlour to the next level, then the cask strength A’Bunadh is often on discount in the UK for £36. The 12yo hovers between £32-£34. In 2013 I tried the 10yo and was impressed enough to go looking for more examples of Aberlour and discovered the A’Bunadh. It’s a tough act to beat, and with 4 different batches released in 2014 (47, 48, 49 and 50) if I ever had £36 spare I wouldn’t bother with the 12yo.
We’ve had nearly 5 months of 2015 and there hasn’t been a new batch of the A’Bunadh this year. Blimey! Sainsbury’s tempted me with a big discount on the 12yo (down to £26) so I went for it. Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible gives this ‘Double Cask Matured’ version of the 12yo an excellent 88.5/100 with the comment “voluptuous and mouth watering in some areas, firmer and less expansive in others. Pretty tasty in all of them.”
The Whisky Bible rates the 10yo one point less than the 12yo at 87.5/100 but that’s still an excellent mark. Whiskybase score the 10yo 83.6/100 (from 22 member votes), which is 3 points more than the 12yo. They’re both 40%, probably chill-filtered and have colour added, so there’s no difference there. It can come down to price, personal preference or what’s available in your location. Ian Logan, international brand ambassador for Chivas Brothers, said on a whisky forum in April 2015 (here) that the 10yo was remaining in the UK and France but not in other countries. It seems a shame that the rest of the world are missing out on the 10yo but, the 12yo sounds like a pretty reasonable substitute.
Here’s the Whisky Bitch with her You Tube review (Sept 2015):