ABERFELDY 25 Years Old (et ABERFELDY 12 Years Old)

What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a trip to my armchair club (I know it sounds a bit pretentious, but here it is).


Today I'd like to invite you to sit back and enjoy the ABERFELDY 25 ans SHERRY CASK FINISH, released to celebrate the distillery's 125th anniversary. 


And because I like you, at the very end I'll be offering you a tasting of the brand's benchmark 12-year-old.


But before you indulge in ABERFELDY's nectar, let's take a little tour of this old lady (sorry, you're not going to miss out).


ABERFELDY is synonymous with JOHN DEWAR'S and SONS (one of Scotland's leading whisky companies) and STEPHANIE J. MACLEOD. All names that speak to whisky lovers, and which I suggest you rediscover in one of my previous articles (here for DEWAR'S DOUBLE 21 YEARS).



But to celebrate a 125th anniversary, you need a bit of history, because the history of the ABERFELDY distillery is inextricably linked to that of the group. It's not for nothing that the sign outside the distillery entrance reads #HOME OF DEWARS.



But back to our distillery in the village of ABERFELDY (easy), just below the Cairngorms National Park in the middle of the Highlands. It is located just outside Perth, where a certain John Dewar started trading spirits in 1846.


John Dewar's sons, John Alexander and Tommy Dewar, continued to develop the company after their father's death in 1880. Above all, they set about building the distillery in 1896 in the centre of the country (the only one the family would ever build).


The distillery began producing the malt used to blend the brand's blends in 1898 (125 years ago).


It has been producing ever since, even though it underwent a facelift in 1972 and was bought out by the Bacardi group on its 100th anniversary in 1998. More recently, the company has even become involved in eco-responsibility by reducing its carbon footprint (installation of a biomass boiler and optimisation of water use).



I'll skip the hectic life of the company, but if you're interested, I'll see you back here, to see that John Alexander Dewar has gone a long way with John Alexander Walker.



In addition to producing distillates for the many DEWARS blends (along with its sisters Aultmore, Craigellachie and Royal Brackla), the distillery also produces single malts. These include a 12 year old (which I've chosen to introduce to you below), a 16 year old and a 21 year old.



And to celebrate the 125th anniversary of this old lady, the teams at STEPHANIE J. MACLEOD are now offering us a very honourable 25 year old (which really deserved to be installed in a club chair next to the fireplace to be tasted).


In deciding which distillates to choose for this 25 year old, Stéphanie was assisted by the experience of John MacKenzie (distillery manager).


Aberfeldy 25 years old review


The colour of this distillate shows a long period spent in casks, with a fairly pronounced coppery amber.


In fact, this whisky had matured for a long time (more than 24 years) partly in bourbon cask and partly in sherry cask before being assembled and finishing its course for 15 months in Oloroso sherry cask.


On the nose, the aim of paying tribute to the distillery's expertise and to the fruity, honeyed notes of an ABERFELDY is respected.


The first approach is rather mellow and takes us to a Highland forest amidst a bed of wild strawberries. You can also detect warm, fruity notes of peach, bursting with sunshine and ready to explode (a note close to honey).


On the second pass, we're heading more towards woody and spicy notes, which then develop into notes of leather. However, if you leave it in the glass, the nose returns to our wild strawberries.


 On the third pass, more rancio notes emerge, reminding us of the finish in the Oloroso cask.



On the palate, it is very fruity, warm and spicy and peppery on entry. It then becomes smooth and honeyed, with a hint of spice in the background. The velvety notes of ageing are then revealed. The tasting is very gentle, with the occasional hint of fruit, and finishes on notes of vanilla.


On the way down, it wakes up a little and adds a touch of spice. It lasts quite a long time, with a mixture of grape and cocoa notes.


The empty glass retains for a long time the notes of red fruit and peach, but paradoxically the notes of the barley that gave birth to it 25 years ago in the distillery's still.


Aberfeldy 25 years old review


Let's take advantage of this tasting to focus on the 12-year-old (13 years its junior).


This distillate is the very essence of the honeyed nature of the distillery's products, and is the result of the distillery's long fermentation process.



As advertised and representative of the distillery's style, the nose is indeed honeyed and sweet, with a peach base and a hint of almond.


A second pass takes us on to slightly more woody and spicy notes, with a fresh hint of liquorice.


The third passage brings out the fullness of the fruity notes.


On the palate, it is present and immediately brings out a certain warmth. It then takes on more of a velvety texture, but also reveals notes of honey.



The finish is enhanced by spices and a hint of citrus acidity.