The Aberfeldy Exceptional Cask series contains some unique casks, usually one-offs and apparently often double matured. I’ve seen a 1996 Red Wine finish for La Maison du Whisky not so long ago and now there is this Aberfeldy 1983 Marsala finish for China Whisky Society.
It has been matured for 33 years, five of which in the wine cask.
Aberfeldy 33 yo 1983 ‘Exceptional Cask’ (52,4%, OB for China Whisky Society 2016, cask #3157-#1, Marsala finish, 588 btl.)
Nose: orchard fruits like mirabelles and apricots, sweet pears and yellow apples. Some malty notes. Very nice waxy touches too. Hints of wild flowers and floral honey. Light vanilla, tobacco and oak. Very classy.
Mouth: same sweet and fruity start, but with more winey, almost liqueur-like notes over time. Apples, ripe gooseberries, perhaps a hint of roasted pineapple. Honey. Rich and creamy, with some exotic spices (ginger) and a pinch of salt. The oak is in check and the beautiful waxy side remains.
Finish: long, on apricot, honey and slightly more grassy oak.
A very warm and tasty Aberfeldy, with a highly elegant, jammy fruitiness. I’m not sure the Marsala was responsible for that, but it certainly didn’t harm it either. Good selection, too bad it’s so expensive: just over € 1000.