A Tainted Bottle Of Aberlour A’bunadh?

by Oliver Klimek on September 26, 2012

Back in June I reviewed the latest Batch of the legendary Aberlour A’bunadh, it was No. 41. To say I was not impressed would be the understatement of the year. Especially with water added, the whisky became almost undrinkable, I had the impression of my nose getting stung by nasty fumes with every sip.

I gave a sample to my friend Keith Wood who also noted: “Something’s just not quite right here.” I have been a fan of the A’bunadh for years, it was always a safe bet for a high quality sherried malt. And now this. Could it really be that the distillery released such a nasty whisky without a feeling of shame? Keith’s judgment confirmed that my senses had not fooled me. The whisky in my bottle – bought in a famous whisky shop in Scotland – really was bad.

For months I have been watching out for other reviews of Batch 41. Until now I found none at all. Had I scared away all bloggers with my bad rating? I was burning to know if the entire batch really is that bad or if it is only my bottle that was affected by a mysterious whisky disease.

Finally I found another opinion. Nathan Keeney of Scotchnoob.com posted a review of it on 24 September. I know tastes are different, and two people describing the same whisky may use rather different descriptors in their tasting notes. But the way Nathan describes it and the fact that he gave it a “Must Have!” rating makes me wonder if my bottle indeed was tainted.

In a heroic effort I have worked my way almost to the dregs of the bottle. I was hoping for the whisky to become better with time by oxidaton, but it has stayed the same. I will keep a sample for reference, just in case I will get to taste Batch 41 from another bottle.

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