Aberlour A’bunadh Batch 41

by Oliver Klimek on June 21, 2012


My Tasting Notes:

Colour: Bright copper
Nose: Rather closed neat, vaguely nutty and fruity. With water: pungent, almost irritating the nasal mucous membranes, dried fruit and mild spices underneath.
Palate: Sharp and acrid tones dominate and cover raisins, orange zest, caramel, cinnamon.
Finish: Rather long (sadly) and not too pleasant.
Overall: I have often stated that I usually don’t mind sulphur in a whisky, and more often than not I actually like it when it spices up a dram. But this is too much even for me. When I opened the bottle I saw grey fumes in the bottleneck! If you have to, drink it neat. Water unleashes the demons. I tasted many wonderful A’bunadhs, but this batch should never have been bottled.

Rating: Neat: 68/100, with water: 45/100 – Price Tag $$$$$ – Value for your Money $$$$$

I usually try to include ‘Buy’ links, but not this time. I cannot recommend this bottling with a clean conscience.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Caron August 25, 2012 at 3:43 am

It was interesting opening up my batch 41 and having such low expectations of it. I shared it with my two Aunts and we thought it was fantastic. Granted, we’ve never had any other batch to compare it to, but we were not disappointed at all. We didn’t notice any sulfur taste. Mostly what we got was clove, cinnamon, and of course, the sherry. We also tasted some Mackmyra 1st Edition but went back to the batch 41 for seconds. Even though we both have the same batch number, is it possible for bottles to be different within the batch?


Oliver Klimek August 25, 2012 at 6:18 am

I can’t categorically rule out that something could have happened to the bottle. but I bought it off the shelf from a well-known shop who had plenty more, so I think this is rather unlikely. Last week I have given a sample from my bottle to a friend, I am eagerly awating his impressions.

What I find quite striking though is that this batch has been out over two months now, but I still have not seen any other review of it on one of the many other whisky blogs or forums out there.


Bob Caron August 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for the response. I am interested too in seeing what your friend’s impression is and from others as reviews start surfacing. I bought this one from DrinkUpNY and wasn’t aware of the batch number until it came in. Since I had a few days before I was going to open it with my Aunts, I looked for reviews and your was the only one I could find. You kind of freaked me out and I warned My Aunts not to expect much :0 We were pleasantly surprised. I need to find one of the highly rated older bottlings so I can actually compare them head to head.


Josh Feldman January 2, 2013 at 2:18 am

I believe you have written about Scotch Noob’s positive article. I didn’t bother to blog it – but I’ll attest here and now that I have a bottle of batch 41 and it’s as roughly as good as batch 19, 21, and 39. I haven’t compared the detailed notes – but there’s nothing out of place in my bottle of batch 41. It’s a delicious sherry bomb without unusual sulfur notes or off notes of any kind.


Brian March 10, 2013 at 5:32 am

I picked up a bottle of batch 41 yesterday (March 8, 2013) off of a dusty shelf here in Oklahoma, and absolutely love it, there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s a slight sulphuric taste to it, but it just contributes to the interaction between the strength and taste on the tongue, which is wonderful.

I have a Balvenie 15 year single cask from a few weeks ago that has sulphur tones five times stronger than this bottle does, and even then it isn’t bad or overpowering.

And I’m not just saying the A’bunadh isn’t bad due to any preference for Islay monster malts, as I am highly sensitive to unsweet tastes in whisky and dislike malts like Ardbeg or Laphroaig.

If all of “batch 41” truly was vatted in one vat, then the bottle you got was somehow tainted or affected negatively.


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