It will not be a secret that I have a soft spot for Aberlour. I love the distillery and most of their releases are just great! Although many of the releases are sherried versions, and these are in high demand, I think the bourbon releases of Aberlour are just as good. The spirit of Aberlour works actually really well with bourbon casks. So I was very excited to be able to try this Aberlour 1988 from Archives, which was a special release for Taiwan. As you don’t come by many independent releases of Aberlour in general and something this old is rarely seen.
This Aberlour has matured in a bourbon hogshead for 29 years and is bottled at 50,5% ABV. Officialy launched during the Whiskyfair Takao 2017 in Kaohsiung.
Aberlour 1988 tasting notes:
Nose: White fruits and a touch of oak. Then more towards pears and apples, pineapple and some pinewood. When adding water: It really opens up, this works great here. More of the fresh apples and pears, a hint of citrus (lime), lots of pineapple and some butterscotch.
Taste: Fruity and it has a slightly bitter edge to it, schweppes maybe? Oranges and grapefruits but with water it’s all on pears and apples. It looses some of it’s syrupy profile, but I get a bit more citrus aspects to it. Water really helps with getting rid of the bitter edge. And it just needs a few drops.
Finish: Honey and syrupy with a touch of oak to it. The finish is mid-long.
You can tell the age of this one, without water it has quite a bitter edge. But still good, it’s not fresh so to speak. A more mature Aberlour if I might say so. It really develops in the glass and the initial bitterness fades away. With water the nose gets better and it changes the taste, but I am not sure what I like more. It’s great though but take your time with this. Something to explore and savour.