Aberfeldy 12 Year Old (2023)

Aberfeldy 12 Year Old (2023)

Back in 2014 the Bacardi group decided to upgrade and extend the core ranges of most of its distilleries, including Aberfeldy. That’s when the black labels with golden letters appeared, like you see in this Aberfeldy 12 Year Old. The release specs are fairly outdated though: only 40% alc./vol. with chill-filtering and caramel colouring.

I’m a bit confused by the “limited batch” number. You see, the label on my bottle says Batch 2905 and it has a bottling code of L23216 which should refer to August 2023. However, you can easily find the same batch number in reviews from 2019 or in every picture on the Aberfeldy website. I can only assume it’s a fake suggestion of small-scale production. That’s lame.

Anyway, the spirit comes from a mix of ex-bourbon casks, first fill Oloroso, re-char and refill casks.


Aberfeldy 12 yo (40%, OB 2023, Batch #2905)

Nose: light and sweet, with a honeyed note, a lot of peach and orange, even a light hint of exotic pineapple. Sour berries too. It starts bright and inviting, softened by vanilla custard. On the other hand there’s a firm grainy side, with green malt, some tea and a rougher, gingery note. All in all, quite friendly, but with limited complexity.

Mouth: slightly gritty now, with white pepper, ginger and nutmeg. On the other hand there’s not much weight in the middle, making it a little spirity and thin. Then marmalade, more peach and hints of grapefruit zest. Green herbal notes, including a bitter edge and some burnt walnuts.

Finish: short, with hints of coffee, lemon zest, cookies and green tea.

The thin mouthfeel and bitter edge, the spice that doesn’t seem to match the low ABV… even as an entry-level single malt this Aberfeldy has its shortcomings. While it’s cheap, I’d say there is better value for money out there. Available from Master of Malt, The Whisky Exchange and plenty of local retailers.