Aberlour 2012 / Ballechin 2013 (Signatory Vintage)

Aberlour 2012 / Ballechin 2013 (Signatory Vintage)

Kirsch Import started a series called Horsemen & Archangels. It consists of single malts dedicated to the four horsemen of the apocalypse and four archangels. The whisky is sourced from the Signatory Vintage stocks.

A Caol Ila 2012 and Ben Nevis 2014 kicked off the series and now we’re trying the second installment: Aberlour 2012 and peated Ballechin 2013. Like the other bottlings so far, they’re taken from dark sherry casks.


Aberlour 11 yo 2012 (58,5%, Signatory Vintage ‘Archangel No. 2’ for Kirsch Import 2023, first fill Oloroso sherry butt, 1005 btl.)

Nose: a proper, modern sherry cask. Raisins, hints of toffee, caramelized hazelnuts and honey. Red berries and darker forest fruits come out, as well as some leathery notes. Then hints of cold gravy in the background, as well as whiffs of blood orange candy. Nice echoes of moist tobacco and sherry bodegas too.

Mouth: dark and spicy now. The meaty side is bigger now, with hints of beef stock and herbal sauce. Then a lot of walnuts and hazelnuts, ginger and plenty of spent coffee powder. Dark chocolate comes out, with a tart cranberry note. Black peppercorns and nutmeg, as well as a hint of charred wood.

Finish: medium long, on tobacco leaves, leather and peppery. More of this coffee / chocolate combination as it dies.

A nice nose and a generally rich sherry influence. On the palate it becomes very dark, savoury and weighty. I’m missing a bit of fruity balance at that point, but overall it’s a fairly successful sherry bomb. Still available in German stores, check Whisky Agents for instance.



Ballechin 10 yo 2013 (59,9%, Signatory Vintage ‘Horsemen No. 2’ for Kirsch Import 2023, two first fill Oloroso sherry butts, 1378 btl.)

Ballechin 2013 Horsemen - Signatory & Kirsch Import Nose: same idea really, with peat added to the mix. A lot of barbecued meat and duck with Hoisin sauce, as well as Mexican mole sauce. Sweet prunes and cinnamon buns in the background. Then roasted nuts, roasted coffee beans, charred wood and tarry smoke.

Mouth: oily and deeply sooty. A lot of chocolate and roasted malt, with barbecue ashes and old leather. Then cracked peppercorns, subtle sourness, walnuts and lots of earthy darkness. A subtle briney note as well.

Finish: long, on grilled meat, warm ashes, raisins, leather and chocolate.

While the oak may be equally powerful, peated whisky withstands it better. Quite extreme, but a nice result that is very rich and reasonably balanced. This is our favourite. Also available in Germany, try Whisky Agents. Score: 88/100