Aberfeldy 1996 21 year old (Cadenheads)
Bottle: Cadenhead’s authentic collection standard bottling.
Nose: A huge pineapple hit, palmier pastry, white wine and a little sap.
Body: Medium and a little effervescent.
Palate: Butterscotch, lemon and smoked cheese. An odd combination that doesn’t really work for me.
Finish: Lemon rind, salt and smoked almonds.
Neat/Ice/Water: 54.6%. I like this better with a little water. The weird cheese note fades whilst the smoke remains and it feels a lot more balanced. Less bitter in the finish as well and creamier overall.
Verdict: Average (knocking on the door of Quaffable). When the advance notice of last years autumn release from Cadenhead was published I checked out the drams on offer and decided on this as I’d never had an Aberfeldy before. When I reserved the bottle, the staff at the London store complimented me on my choice but I’m not sure I agree with them on this one. It breathes nicely and the finish isn’t bad but the clash of flavours in the mouth make it an odd one. Distinctive but discordant. I’ll have to try another Aberfeldy to see if this is representative of the distillery. It retailed for about £68 I think but I wouldn’t go again although I get the feeling that some people might like this a lot more than I did. May just be me? 270 bottles only.