Aberlour 14 Year Old Double Cask has recently joined their core range alongside the 12, 16, and 18 Year Old releases. It is a combination of first-fill American oak (bourbon) casks and Oloroso sherry casks.
Once a novelty when The Balvenie started finishing whisky, this is now a very common (almost traditional) procedure that doesn’t really stand out from the crowd. That said, Aberlour has a long history of double maturation so they know what they’re doing.
Aberlour 14 yo ‘Double Cask’ (40%, OB 2021, Batch 0001)
Nose: quite rounded, with jammy peaches, hints of marzipan and vanilla. Toffee and orange cake as well. Then some honey emerges, with a little polished oak. Some (European oak?) spice sits in the background, like clove and cinnamon. Reasonably aromatic with no rough edges whatsoever.
Mouth: sweet and creamy, but lacking a bit of punch. Lots of oranges again, alongside yellow plums, summer berries and vanilla. After that it becomes more wood influenced, showing clove, honeyed Darjeeling, a little candied ginger, minty notes and black pepper. Milk chocolate and hints of coffee beans in the end.
Finish: not too long. Still a honeyed note but also drying wood.
A fairly supple Aberlour which combines a fruity spirit and wood spice from the sherry casks. The balance is okay but it would definitely benefit from a slightly higher strength. A good option for beginners or those who prefer extreme smoothness, I would say. Available from The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt for instance.