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Megawatt
11-09-2007, 06:32
As I think of what to ask my wife for for Christmas, and I keep seeing this single malt popping up everywhere. I haven't heard of a single person who doesn't like it; in fact, many think it's one of the best they have tried. At $86 it's not cheap, but the high proof means that it should, in theory, last longer anyway. I'm just wondering if this stuff is as good as they say. And why no age statement? Is it typical for cask-strength Scotches to be a bit younger than other similarly-priced single malts?

The other Scotches I'm considering are Highland Park 12 and The Balvenie 12 Doublewood. Both of these are considerably cheaper and would leave me room to also ask for some clothes or maybe another bottle of something else. But I may not get another chance to try the a-bunadh for quite a while, as it is out of my normal budget...

Vange
11-09-2007, 07:01
$86?? Wow, I get it for $50-$60. Balvenie Doublewood is a very nice scotch as is HP 12 (although HP 18 is heads and shoulders better IMO).

AA is a HEAVILY sherried (100% sherry cask aging if I am not mistaken) and a thick, creamy, intense single malt. Little to no peat taste. It is VERY good if that is your thing. If you do not like sherry caskings and prefer Islays I might let it be.
It is one of my favorites in the $50-$60 range. For $86 though I might go looking for a Balvenie portwood 21, I occasionally find the older packaged ones for $80-$90.

Hope this helps!

chouffe62
11-09-2007, 07:20
The Aberlour a'bunadh is a gorgeous, complex whisky. I love the Highland Park and Balvenie, but I would choose the Aberlour; it's like a meal in itself.

But at $86, ouch! That seems mighty steep for the Aberlour. It's around $53.99 where I live.

The Highland Park 12 and Balvenie Doublewood go for around $30-32 here. If that price is comparable to where you live, I think I would save a few dollars and go with one of them (or both). I agree with Vange though; if you can find a Highland 18 (usually around $60) go with that. It is indeed heads-and-shoulders above the HP 12 and Doublewood.

mier
11-09-2007, 08:02
A`bunadh is a nice whisky but the price is just too high,you have a nice Highland park 18yo(my recommadation) for that and some more.An age statement isn`t obligatory,a lot regular single malts don`t have it either,all European whiskies have to mature for at least 3 years to call it whisky.Blends with an agestatement give the youngest whisky in the blend but can hold some 20yo whisky as well.But we all can give you advice,it`s you that decide and whatever that is i hope you like it.CHEERS!
Eric.

Sijan
11-09-2007, 08:06
It is 59.99 at Binny's. http://www.binnys.com/search/spiritsearch.cfm?advs=2&ptid=2&astxt=aberlour&otext=aberlour

I think I've seen it as low as $50ish around here.

Megawatt
11-09-2007, 11:07
To give you some perspective:

Highland 12: $53
Balvenie 12: $58
Highland 18: $117
Balvenie 21: $175

Given that price range, does the Aberlour still seem unreasonable? I'm hesitant about importing liqour from the US. Shipping, duty and brokerage would probably make up for the lower price anyway...

I live in Canada, and evidently us Canadians pay more for Scotch and bourbon than you yanks would ever dream of.

Vange
11-09-2007, 13:02
$86 Canadian dollars or USD for AA?

chouffe62
11-09-2007, 14:29
Eighty six dollars CDN still equates to $80-81 USD; so yes, it still appears unreasonable. Unfortunately, the LCBO is not exactly known for their bargains. Then again...

I stopped into a LCBO with a Vintages in Kingston about two years ago and saw a Macallan 18 for $259. The manager standing next to me must have noticed my surprise because she chuckled and said, "you're not in the States anymore sir!"

Funny thing though; I found three Balvenie 25-Year-Old Single Barrel at $179 each, not more than five feet away. I also found Rochefort 8 at $3.10 a bottle. I left Canada that day with all three of the Balvenie and four 24 bottle cases of Rochefort 8 ( two in Kingston, two in Brockville). No taxes, no duty, and about $1.20 CDN on the USD. So, I suppose sometimes you just can't tell...

I would suggest perusing the LCBO website and doing product searches for items of interest to you. It appears their price scale fluctuates quite a bit and you just might come across a gem at a decent price. Best of luck to you!

Frodo
11-09-2007, 15:03
OK, here's a dissenting voice. I tried the Abelour CS a couple of times because of all the buzz. Mostly what I got was whisky flavoured sherry. I must confess that I prefer bourbon casked scotch because it is easier to discern the distillery character from these bottlings. If you like sherried drams like Balvenie Doublewood and Macallan, perhaps this would be a next step for you.

Balvenie DW is a favourite budget dram of mine where the sherry influance is more measured. Highland Park 12 is a great "all-rounder" IMHO - hard to go wrong on this one.

Here's my last word. HP 12 and Balvenie DW are both solid workmanlike drams that appeal to a great many people. Neither would be put on a pedestal. The Abelour on the other hand, many people consider this to be a work of art. Get ready for lots of sherry influance in this one!

TNbourbon
11-09-2007, 15:17
I'm sorta between Vange and Frodo: I like the A'Bunadh, but I think I'd like it better with the sherry tamped down a bit. But, that's what it is -- a sherried malt.
I have a Batch #8 and #16 open, and #9 and #14 shelved. I might pay a bit of a premium for an older batch I might not otherwise see, but those prices are too high generally. The Highland Park 12 shouldn't be over $40-$45 anywhere, I'd think. But, if the AA is that much cheaper than HP18, seems like a no-brainer to me -- get the Aberlour.

Megawatt
11-09-2007, 16:08
Great, now every time I go to the LCBO for Scotch I will feel like I'm getting ripped off. Especially with the high Canadian dollar...worth $1.10 USD!

I have a bottle of Aberlour 12 Double Cask Matured, and I find it to be decent, but yeah, a little heavy on the sherry. I think I liked the Balvenie Doublewood better. Is this an indication that the a'bunadh might not be for me?

Regarding price, you must understand what we are forced to pay in Ontario. Knob Creek goes for $46. The cheapest single malt I have seen here is Glenlivit 12 ($43). Only Canadian whisky is reasonably priced. It sucks, but what can I do, other than simply not drink the good stuff?

On the other hand, I hear that Americans pay a lot for weed, so maybe it all equals out ;)

Vange
11-10-2007, 09:04
I have a bottle of Aberlour 12 Double Cask Matured, and I find it to be decent, but yeah, a little heavy on the sherry. I think I liked the Balvenie Doublewood better. Is this an indication that the a'bunadh might not be for me?


Based on this statement, AA is probably not your best bet.

drrich1965
11-10-2007, 11:38
Based on this statement, AA is probably not your best bet.


Agreed. AA is a sherry monster, which is one reason I am not a huge fan. I much prefer malts that are balanced between multiple elements, malt and peat, peat and sherry, malt and oak, ect.

When I like malts when one element predominates, it is peat OR malt, but not Sherry.

AA is certainly a high quality sherried malt- which I cannot say for the current Macallan 12..very sappy and grappy to me..

For something a bit more balanced, and cheaper, may I suggest the Glenfarclas 12..good solid sherry, but with a malty center, a hint of oak, and just a hint of peat smoke (not medicinal)...very nice, and often as cheap as $35 (on sale in our ABC store for $30, if I was not restricted from buying for a few weeks, I would have picked one up).

Frodo
11-10-2007, 15:30
I have a bottle of Aberlour 12 Double Cask Matured, and I find it to be decent, but yeah, a little heavy on the sherry. I think I liked the Balvenie Doublewood better. Is this an indication that the a'bunadh might not be for me?

If you find ANYTHING too sherried perhaps the A'bunadh may not be for you...

CrispyCritter
11-11-2007, 19:33
I've loved the A'Bunadh bottles I've had - but they are definitely "sherry bombs" that some might not like. As for the lack of an age statement, that was intentional on Aberlour's part, as it lets them vat young and old barrels - and whenever I've had a bottle open, I've never been disappointed.

Aside from drinking it as is, it's also interesting for vatting with other whiskies - once, I had just half a pour left in a bottle of A'Bunadh, so I vatted it half-and-half with some Buffalo Trace. The result was lovely in its own right!

mitchshrader
03-04-2008, 16:52
hate to dissent.. but i bought two bottles, and happily traded the 2nd away.

unhappily drank my way, grumbling, through the first.

it tastes GREAT at the first sip. it tastes IDENTICAL at every other sip.

the least variation in taste i ever met in a malt, as one dimensional as a photograph. it made me angry and resentful and i didn't EVER want any more.

it needed another 8 years in the barrel, no caramel coloring, and cask strength at 53% alcohol..

not 60%. THEN it would have been good whisky. For the same price, buy Macallan Cask Strength and get what you're paying for. IMO.

Megawatt
03-06-2008, 10:19
hate to dissent.. but i bought two bottles, and happily traded the 2nd away.

unhappily drank my way, grumbling, through the first.

it tastes GREAT at the first sip. it tastes IDENTICAL at every other sip.

the least variation in taste i ever met in a malt, as one dimensional as a photograph. it made me angry and resentful and i didn't EVER want any more.

it needed another 8 years in the barrel, no caramel coloring, and cask strength at 53% alcohol..

not 60%. THEN it would have been good whisky. For the same price, buy Macallan Cask Strength and get what you're paying for. IMO.

I thought it was uncoloured. And if it tasted great on the first sip, what were you hoping for with subsequent sips? For it to suddenly taste like piss? ;)

I for one like some consistency in my whisky, which to me is not the same as one-dimensional flavour.

jinenjo
04-01-2008, 19:03
I think it was on the whiskymag forum that people raved about batch #14. I've only tasted AA from what a friend gave to me (#16 or 18 IIRC), and it was dram good ;).

Has anyone tried the latest batch. Number #19? I've been thinking of buying some.

By the way, I recently purchased the Aberlour 12yo Double Matured, and find it to be delicious the more and more I take a pour. I think the past two years of bourbon drinking has swung me over to the sweeter side of scotch whisky. Lately, I am not as enthusiastic about peated malts or even unsherried malts. But then again, it often depends upon my mood.

CorvallisCracker
04-01-2008, 20:32
I think it was on the whiskymag forum that people raved about batch #14. I've only tasted AA from what a friend gave to me (#16 or 18 IIRC), and it was dram good ;).

Has anyone tried the latest batch. Number #19? I've been thinking of buying some.

By the way, I recently purchased the Aberlour 12yo Double Matured, and find it to be delicious the more and more I take a pour. I think the past two years of bourbon drinking has swung me over to the sweeter side of scotch whisky. Lately, I am not as enthusiastic about peated malts or even unsherried malts. But then again, it often depends upon my mood.

When I looked at the whiskymag forum, about two months ago, it was batch #20 they were raving about, saying it was the best in quite a while. Unfortunately, no batch #20 ever arrived at the OLCC (OR Liquor Control Commis.) warehouse, or I would have bought a bottle to replace my bottle of #18, once it expires.

Batch #18 is not considered one of the better ones, but my Scotch drinking guests have liked it well enough to ask for seconds. I've tried it and it seems pretty good to me (well, for Scotch...)

I've heard that batch #22 is already out. On local store shelves one can find batch #18, #19 and #21 (I've read that #21 is the best of these). I also know of one dusty box of #14.

TNbourbon
04-01-2008, 20:34
I have #14 and #9 on the shelf, and #8 and #16 open. Bottom line, they're all pretty good. And, looks like bourbon!..:cool:

Gov
04-01-2008, 20:50
I have been enjoying batch #21 this week. It is some good sh**!!!! It will put hair on your chest!! Aberlour is an excellent whisky period!

spun_cookie
04-02-2008, 02:10
The favorite one I have on my shelf... and i have some graet scotches on my shelf...

jinenjo
04-02-2008, 08:49
The favorite one I have on my shelf... and i have some graet scotches on my shelf...

Which one is it?

spun_cookie
04-02-2008, 11:20
Which one is it?


Good point... Aberlour a'bunadh

Bob O.
04-02-2008, 16:22
Good point... Aberlour a'bunadh
I believe he might be asking which Batch you have.

spun_cookie
04-02-2008, 17:34
I believe he might be asking which Batch you have.

Nice avatar... and I will have to see when I get back to Tucson... I'll add it...

CorvallisCracker
04-02-2008, 17:47
I've heard that batch #22 is already out. On local store shelves one can find batch #18, #19 and #21 (I've read that #21 is the best of these three). I also know of one dusty box of #14.

Okay, I was remembering that wrong. If it had been batch #14, I would have bought it back in late January. It was batch #15.

There is a good discussion about a'bunadh batches here:
http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6943&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

drunkenjayhawk
04-03-2008, 00:13
I have a bottle of batch 21 still waiting for me to pour some out. I most likely will around the 4th or earlier. Maybe for the 4th some Van Winkle or Stagg would be good.

drli
04-17-2008, 18:17
I thought the website use to list the age and % of each bottling, but i dont see that on there anymore.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A'bunadh

has the % / batch.

I use to like scotch alot, but then the prices went threw the roof... I use to get this for ~$40 a bottle. I'm sticking to bourbon now.

barturtle
04-17-2008, 20:43
Damn is everything on Wiki these days?

spun_cookie
04-17-2008, 22:47
Nice avatar... and I will have to see when I get back to Tucson... I'll add it...


23 for the record..........

JamesW
05-12-2008, 17:16
On Emerald's recommendation I purchased some AA today Batch #18... I'm excited to try it!

JamesW
05-12-2008, 19:11
Hot damn this AA is goooood! It's like the George T Stagg of scotch. The sherry accents are marvelous and the taste is really explosive with a nice smooth burn at the end. I just finished my first dram and I will be having seconds if I can get to the bottle http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/icons/icon12.gif

drunkenjayhawk
05-12-2008, 23:56
If you like the Aberlour at cast strength.. I encourage you to track down some Islay malts or Highland Park at cs!

Gov
05-13-2008, 09:36
I will also recommend The Macallan CS. It is VERY good!

JamesW
05-13-2008, 14:14
Thanks for the recommendations. I will definitely be on the lookout for those.

LeoDLion
05-22-2008, 08:50
Last week I bought a bottle of Aberlour Abunadah batch #18. Normally I wont be interested because of the heavy sherry taste as was discussed in this thread but heck, lets give it a try. I took a little sip and decided the abv is too high. I put in three teaspon of water which to my calculation should bring the abv down to around 40. I waited a while. Now, the smell came out but not that much. The taste is decidely sherried and fruity. There is a delightful complexity that I am starting to like. Last night was maybe the 5th time I had it. Its a very good single malt. I prefer the peaty kinds but AA is going to be a favorite.

LeoDLion
07-08-2008, 11:29
I am intrigue by this "batch" numbering system so I went to the Aberlour website. I thought the batch number is the production number of the whisky but its not. They mixed several casks from different production dates and/or different ages to produce the said batch. In theory therefore, they can duplicate any batch of A'bunadah provided that there is enough ingredient leftover from the last vatting. Hopefully, if a particular batch prove to be of excellent taste, via feedback from customers, that they will strive to reproduce it again. Hopefully.

CorvallisCracker
07-08-2008, 12:03
Hopefully, if a particular batch prove to be of excellent taste, via feedback from customers, that they will strive to reproduce it again. Hopefully.

Or, at the very least, avoid the barrels that caused some of the batches in the 15-18 range to be described as "sulphery".

LeoDLion
08-18-2008, 07:34
Or, at the very least, avoid the barrels that caused some of the batches in the 15-18 range to be described as "sulphery".
I just bought batch #18 and yes, it taste kind of sulphery in there. And I am tasting a bit bitter. Its not like batch #21 and #18 which I like very much.

JCGuest
03-10-2009, 12:57
Like cigars, single malts are highly personal. Although I see this string is several years old, I just discovered the Aberlour a’bunadh recently. Apparently a’bunadh, translated from the Celtic, means “original,” a reference to it not being chill-filtered, a modern process that prevents the whisky from clouding when ice or water is added. Whether the chill-filtering process also removes richness and taste is a matter for debate.

I paid $68 for my bottle, batch #9, and I was delighted. I heated a brandy snifter and poured a healthy six ounces to enjoy with an afternoon cigar, and the a’bunadh had me blissfully buoyant in no time. By far the best discovery I’ve made in a single malt in quite some time. I highly recommend it.

New2Whiskey
05-10-2009, 19:20
I'm considering going to Binny's and picking up a bottle of this whiskey. I just enjoyed finishing a bottle of sherry wine and was looking for another scotch.

I have DALMORE 12 Year (C+ grade) and
HIGHLAND PARK 12 Year (A grade) (those are my grades on how much I like them)

So this obviously interests me. I'm reading "batch numbers". I'm not a BIG spirits guy. So I'm not at all greatly familiar with terms and batches and such. ANyone know what batch Binny's sells? I see from this thread they recommend 21. I should go there tomorrow.

Vange
05-11-2009, 07:43
Dont worry about the batches, earlier ones were scored better by critics, but I have had a'bunadh from 4 different batches and all have been delightful. You may or may not need to add some water, it is high octane! I would recommend one sip with no water to feel its intensity. Good luck.

The Boozer
06-18-2009, 20:00
Picked up Batch 23 tonight. Very nice, agree - lots of sherry but not overpowering. Very good whiskey and would strongly recommend.
TJ

birdman1099
06-18-2009, 21:06
I have a 23 as well. Loads of sherry. This is my favorite Scotch !!!!:cool:

Jono
08-21-2009, 21:39
Aberlour a'bunadh, my first.....in a word...wonderful.
A most pleasing scotch...similar to MacCallan....a wonderful mouth feel, especially considering its high proof....very interesting flavors develop and reserving a small amount in your mouth...letting it heat up...delicious.

Intersting bottle design...not your typical scotch bottle..more like a Makers Mark bottle...wax seal and all.

unclebunk
08-26-2009, 07:02
Aberlour a'bunadh, my first.....in a word...wonderful.
A most pleasing scotch...similar to MacCallan....a wonderful mouth feel, especially considering its high proof....very interesting flavors develop and reserving a small amount in your mouth...letting it heat up...delicious.

Intersting bottle design...not your typical scotch bottle..more like a Makers Mark bottle...wax seal and all.

Spot on observations, Jono. I picked up my first bottle of Aberlour A'bunadh yesterday (batch #11, so it's an older one) and it was delicious. Although quite sherried (which I happen to like), I was pleased by the many other flavors that developed with each sip, and the mouth-feel is nothing short of luxurious. As you mentioned, there is certainly a similarity to Macallan, so I'm off to score a Macallan Cask Strength today to see how it matches up to the high octane of the A'bunadh. It never ends!

Jono
09-03-2009, 08:07
My bottle is from Batch 23 and it lists 60.2% abv......not quite Stagg territory but still very high proof....and so drinkable..neat! Amazing that the alcohol does not have the same mouth numbing effect that Stagg produces at roughly 10% higher abv....quite a nice find...thanks to all to who wrote of it before which led me to try it.

ErichPryde
09-03-2009, 11:31
After trying a bottle of batch #12 that my parents had stashed away over thanksgiving, I decided this was a scotch that I'd have to have a bottle of. I was able to get a #23, and I'm glad I did. it's an entirely different creature than the batch #12 I tried, and I don't visit it very often, but it is nice to have when I do want a sip or two of scotch.

unclebunk
09-03-2009, 12:47
After trying a bottle of batch #12 that my parents had stashed away over thanksgiving, I decided this was a scotch that I'd have to have a bottle of. I was able to get a #23, and I'm glad I did. it's an entirely different creature than the batch #12 I tried, and I don't visit it very often, but it is nice to have when I do want a sip or two of scotch.

My batch #11 bottle is killer! Maybe the older batches had a bit more going for them than the more recent bottlings.

ErichPryde
09-03-2009, 23:41
My batch #11 bottle is killer! Maybe the older batches had a bit more going for them than the more recent bottlings.


From what I've read/heard, this isn't necessarily the case. the later batches seem to have more sherry influence, though. My bottle is about 2/3 full, and it has been sitting for six or seven months. after letting it sit like this, a whiff of it is incredibly reminiscent of dark chocolates, sherry, and a very deep malt smell that I could almost fall into with a hint of grist hanging about. very, very slight hint. It is much more approchable now than it once was- but this may have a lot to do with the fact that I got used to drinking Thomas Handy neat, and it's made it easier for me to drink stronger whisk(e)ys.

the batch 12 I had was very complex, but it was much less agressive than the 23. If I recall, it had a lower alochol content- the 23 is something like 60.2% and I think the 12 was closer to 54% or so. That might have had something to do with it. Also, it could have been my imagination, but I remember the #12 being much lighter in color- more of an orange amber, while the 23 is the color of sherry or light maple syrup.

wikipedia has a decent page here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A%27bunadh) (and I'm wrong, the #12 was 60% alcohol...)

butephoto
10-25-2009, 07:46
I recently tried batch 14. It was superb.