Douglas Laing Old Particular Aberlour 1992

Douglas Laing Old Particular Aberlour 1992
Picture: Douglas Laing

Tonight I'm sitting in front of an Old Particular Aberlour 1992. Another distillery that can be struck off the list of 'untasted ones'.

Aberlour (in Gaelic Obar Lobhair) lies near the meeting place of the Lour burn, a stream in plain English, and the river Spey. The first Aberlour distillery was founded by James Gordon and Peter Weir in 1826. A year later Peter Weir decided to withdraw and James Gordon ran the business alone until a fire devastated most of the distillery in 1879. The new distillery as well as most of the machinery was designed and built by James Fleming, son of a local farmer in 1879.

The two pairs of stills at Aberlour produce around 3.8 million litres of alcohol a year. In 2014 they sold 3.5 million bottles, surpassing Glen Grant and occupying the sixth place in global single malt sales. The core range exists of a 12 and 16 year old Double Cask (Aberlour's posh way to indicate a vatting of bourbon and sherry casks) single malts and an 18 year old. The tongue-twisting A'Bunadh is a NAS expression solely matured in ex-Oloroso casks and hugely popular amongst whisky geeks.

Aberlour even managed to outrank Glenfiddich in France where the brand is super popular. If you surpass the single malt behemoth that means something... The ownership of Pernod-Ricard certainly helped to establish its position in a country where the majority of the whisky is sold in supermarkets.

Identity Card Old Particular Aberlour 1992

  • Old Particular Aberlour 1992
  • Aberlour Distillery, Charlestown of Aberlour (Speyside)
  • Bottled by Douglas Laing
  • 21 year old single malt
  • Distilled September 1992, bottled August 2014
  • Alcohol: 51.5% ABV
  • Natural colour and un-chillfiltered
  • Refill hogshead DL10436 (238 litres)
  • 331 bottles
  • Price: £94.06 (€108)

Tasting Notes Old Particular Aberlour 1992

Colour: Straw yellow and fast legs on the glass. This Aberlour was old enough to be bottled at cask strength instead of the regular 48.4% ABV of the Old Particular series .

Nose: Green apple and ripe bananas. Lots of fino sherry aromas mixed with aniseed and lavendar. A bag of sweets. Meloen. Lots of fruity esters. A can of orange juice. Caramel and brown sugar.

A few drops of water and the wood notes get stronger. Honey and oranges. A bag of sweet multi-coloured candy.

Taste: Apple peel, dry oak and white vermouth. Orange zest and spices. A contrasting sensation of warm and cool in the mouth.

Water made it more candy-like with bitter notes. Vanilla and orange essence.

Finish: Bittersweet. I couldn't put my finger on more detailed flavours.

A big and somewhat different from the Aberlour profile but enjoyable fruit-bomb. Great decision to bottle it at cask strength too. It gives us a bit more room to play with it.

Picture: Douglas Laing (bottle), Wikipedia (distillery building ) - CC BY-SA 4.0
Sources: Malt Whisky Yearbook 2016, 1001 whiskies you must try before you die, World Whiskey

A sample of this whisky was provided by Douglas Laing for a #SippinSpeyside session on Facebook. Since it's absolutely no use lying to one's self,  opinions expressed in this review are of course my own honest opinion.


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