Aberfeldy 12 Y.O.

    John Dewar was born in poverty in 1805 near the Highland village of Aberfeldy. He went on to become a successful businessman with a thriving whisky blending business, John Dewar & Sons. Those sons took over the business, and in the 1890s, decided to build a distillery to provide fillings for their house blends. Perhaps to honor their father, they chose to build a few miles from his birthplace; thus was Aberfeldy born. The distillery became part of the huge DCL portfolio in the first quarter of the 20th century; a 12 year old bottling of Aberfeldy was issued in the flora and fauna range, but it is now rare and highly sought, fetching sizable sums at auction. When DCL formed Diageo, it was forced to divest of Aberfeldy and several other malt distillers, so those facilities were sold to Bacardi, along with the Dewar’s blend. Bacardi has marketed limited quantities of Aberfeldy as a single malt (in 12 and 21 year old iterations) for many years; in recent years, the single malt range has been revamped and expanded as part of Bacardi’s “Last Great Malts of Scotland” range alongside stablemates Aultmore, Macduff (Deveron), Royal Brackla, and Craigellachie. 

    Aberfeldy 12 Y.O. (older bottling) 40% abv

    Nose: Crisp. Root beer or Dr. Pepper. Apples. Almost a parmesan note. Some nuts—cashew or almonds, or perhaps almond liqueur. Milk chocolate truffles. On the whole rather sweet and mild. A slight mineral note.

    Bod
    y: Firm, medium. Slightly chewy.

    Palat
    e: Mild and balanced. Sponge cake, milk chocolate, oak, ripe plum, heather and mild honey; creamy. There’s just a bit of smoke and tobacco as it heads toward the finish.

    Fin
    ish: Restrained, drying and short, with a mild note of tobacco.

    Score: 84
    /100

    Pr
    ice: This bottling is discontinued, but I suspect the newer versions are similar; they usually run in the $30-40 range.

    Availabil
    ity: Wide; most specialty liquor stores carry it, and you might even find some somewhere like Costco

    Com
    ment:  A very mild, easy going, balanced whisky—very nice, but not a huge personality.