Following my review of The Perfect Fifth’s Bunnahabhain, today I’ll take a closer look at another one of their new releases, a Aberlour 1989 that has aged for 30 years in a first-fill ex-bourbon cask.
The Perfect Fifth is originally an American bottler based in Miami, but just last month they struck a deal a German distributor. Their whiskies will become available in retailers across Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Greece and Ukraine, but will also be available for shipping across Europe.
While commenting on the expansion of his company, founder Karl Schoen was kind enough to compliment the European whisky drinker. “We look forward to introducing our spirits to a region that has such a developed palate for premium single malts, and such a rich history of distilling its own diverse range of high quality spirits,” he said.
But about Aberlour. It’s one of the distilleries I visited during my first-ever visit to Scotland. At the time it was one of the better tours I had done, and I believe it is still one of the best standard distillery tours around (of course always depending on who’s your tour guide).
I left the distillery with a hand-bottled 14-year-old (or was it 15?) matured in an ex-bourbon cask. I could’ve chosen a sherry-matured bottling, but wanted to go the route less traveled. After all, much of the official bottlings are heavily sherry influenced. But I can’t say I was entirely happy with my ex-bourbon pick.
In my experience with fully bourbon matured Aberlour since, I’ve found they’re often on the spicy side. Sometimes a little too much even. It doesn’t much seem to matter if they’re in their early teenage years or closer to their thirties, which I find surprising.
Nonetheless I’m very curious about this 30-year-old Aberlour from The Perfect Fifth. It’s not often you see independent bottled single malt from this distillery, let alone of this age. It’s a bit pricey (or a lot actually), so probably not suited for everybody’s wallet.
Aberlour 1989 30 Years (51.5%, The Perfect Fifth, C#11050)
Nose: Fruity notes of galia melon, orange marmelade and nectarines, accompanied by whiffs of flower honey, pickled lemons and some fennel. There are touches of draff, cumin and porridge in the background. Not overly complex, but the balance is here. Taste: Nice fruity notes of oranges and mango, with a touch of rose water. Like many bourbon matured Aberlour I’ve tried, this too is a touch spicy, but there’s enough going on that it isn’t a problem at all. I get honey, shortbread and notes of fresh mint, but also green grapes and a nice minerality. Finish: Notes of stewed apples, beeswax, strawberries and some oak. Long.
One of the better old Aberlour I've had the pleasure of trying so far. Yes, it is expensive. Way out my price range. That doesn't make it any less of a good pick by the The Perfect Serve.