Aber Falls is a young whisky distillery in North Wales, one of only four in Wales. (Penderyn being the best known, I suppose). In a restored 19th century building they have been producing spirit since late 2017. In 2021 their first single malt saw the light.
Today we’re trying Aber Falls Distiller’s Cut, a 3 years old whisky with a finish in orange wine casks. In this case, orange wine does not refer to the popular orange-coloured (natural) wines – basically white wines in which grape skins are soaked for a short period.
In the south of Spain vino de naranja refers to a liqueur wine to which they add actual orange peels. They are often a mix of Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez, or similar grapes. These orange wines mostly come from the regions of Huelva and Málaga and they’re commonly found in bars in Sevilla for instance. Compass Box Canvas already experimented with this type of cask.
Aber Falls Distiller’s Cut (46%, OB 2021, orange wine cask, 1080 btl.)
Nose: there is a big malty base but we find lots of orange peels as well. Golden raisins, mixed berries, maybe a hint of mango candy too. Hints of vanilla pancakes and subtle spice. Quite thick and sweet. It doesn’t stand out in any way, but on the other hand there’s no interfering immaturity either.
Mouth: more of that sweetness, with a Muscat-like fragrant touch. Candied oranges again, showing a refreshing tart citrusy note that is really well balanced. Barley in the background. Then some toffee and light hints of chocolate appear. Clove and nutmeg after a while, with peppery oak. It now feels slightly younger but the viscosity makes you forget that.
Finish: good length, still sweet and sour, with caramel toffee and a drier nutty side.
Really not bad. This offers an interesting way of pimping an essentially immature whisky without resorting to the ubiquitous STR casks. The orange peels are clear but they never interfere with the spirit. Still for sale at The Whisky Exchange for instance. They also have 3 cl samples.