Aberlour Casg Annamh Batch #1 (2018)
When I reviewed a batch of the Aberlour a’bunadh a little while ago, I completely forgot about the recent price hike for that expression. Whereas you could buy an a’bunadh for 50-ish pound before, the newest batches are all closer to 80 pounds. To try and make up for that, Pernod Ricard released the Aberlour Casg Annamh.
It is a no age statement whisky, just like the a’bunadh, and it matured
exclusively in Oloroso sherry casks. Sorry, scratch that. Matt from The Dramble pointed out that the marketing blurb is a tad sneaky, reading ‘…significantly influenced by the finest quality, hand-selected Oloroso sherry casks’. Some other cask types are presumably involved in the vatting of the Casg Annamh—like ex-bourbon American oak.
The name, by the way, is Gaelic for ‘rare cask’. However, it is not bottled at cask strength like the a’bunadh is. Nonetheless, 48 percent is very respectable.
Aberlour Casg Annamh Batch #1 (48%, OB, 2018)
Nose: Young and fresh smelling, with some pieces of red apple, as well as caramel, candy cane, and pear, as well as some pickled lemon peel and sour peach candy.
Taste: Again, the young spirit is noticeable, with a good amount of oak here as well. First some sweetness with marzipan and honey, but then quite spicy, with lots of pepper and cloves, as well as a hint of mint.
Finish: Lingering cherry aroma and spices.
Young, oak forward and not very inspiring. Before the recent price hike, you used to be able get an Aberlour a’bunadh for this kind of money. The Casg Annamh is an inadequate replacement if you ask me.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.