ABERLOUR A'BUNADH BATCH #61 60,8°
On a beautiful Scottish day, we were Seibh (for anonymity) and I perched on our proud mounts (on two wheels) and drove on the A95 in the middle of the Highlands between Graigellachie and Ballindaloch. The last hill before the Graigellachie bridge had been fatal to the rest of the troop and we were more than both of us looking for the ghost church.
Imagine, since the morning, the dream of any whisky lover on less than 25 miles, a road along names like Benriach, LongMorn, Speyburn, Glen Grant, Glenrothes, Graigellachie, Macallan and in front of us a program like Dailuaine, GlenAllachie, Glenfarclas (and I keep in silence Knockando and another Glenlivet): the 100 dram road which for the moment had passed without dram !
On our little cloud, we were talking peacefully about reincarnation while pedaling. My friend was telling me of his wish to reincarnate as Alain Chabbat (a fine French literary man -NDLR-) when a strange noise was heard from my front wheel! "Bualadh doirbh" I cried! (hard blow in French): the flat tire. Of course we had nothing to repair because we optimized the place of our bags to glean as many bottles as possible during various distillery tastings.
Forced to set foot on land, we set out in search of a workshop where a charitable soul would help us. Thus, on this magical road, at the bend of a bend, we very quickly came across a building resembling a small grey stone castle with its small keep. Of course this building was none other than the entrance door of a....new distillery. But not just any one: ABERLOUR!
On this magical road, even a puncture gives balm to the heart.
We knock on the door and come across Bill Gordon, who takes us into the visitor center even though it had just closed. What a beautiful place: rare bottles, club chairs, a fireplace... .. The dream continues but reality takes over. We told him about our misadventure and, like any good Scot, he offered to accompany us to the workshop to repair our wheel.
We have thus gone further into the distillery. It was just a maze of old grey stone buildings, pagoda roofs and large industrial buildings (we are still at Aberlour), all decorated with doors painted red.
The workshop was located in the middle of the buildings. Equipped it was only a formality to repair our wheel.
Just next to the workshop is a new blackened building and a new red door with "Wharehouse No. 1" on it: things must be happening in there!
Bil Gordon, noticed our looks and told us you want to come in for a little Dram before leaving? It seemed like he knew us.
In the building of course it was only drums flanked by the inscriptions ABERLOUR-GLENLIVET - STRATHSPEY (there must be some nice things in there!). Bill told us: "Which one did you want to taste? "The dream!
In front of us is an Oloroso drum numbered 61! Our eyes met and our minds flew away to a magnificent experience lived in 2010 during the live whisky at the Palais de Tokyo: a barrel of A'BUNADH! That was our choice: it should allow us to get back on track (or not!).
The wine taster plunged into the barrel and poured into our glasses a liquid amber color typical of its finish. Our choice was validated.
Certainly the A'BUNADH is already a cask strenght, but just out of the barrel, it triggers an even greater emotion. We shudder as we slip our noses into the glasses filled with what is commonly called a sherry bomb.
It was all there: power and glory! Almost 61° to the full force of the law! As Michel Audiard (French film director) said and without any sexism: "You still have to know that it's more of a man's drink! »!
When tasting, it is first of all the bitter aromas of dark chocolate and liquorice that appear and line our nose. It's like being in a burning room in the middle of a roasting process. Once you regain your senses and a little fresh air, it is the fruit that arrives when the nose plunges into the glass: oranges, red sherry fruits and even fig sweetness. We want to make this olfactory pleasure last longer. We are not disappointed by the aromas of cinnamon and vanilla that appear during a third pass! But let her experience that happens every time and what a palette of scent in such a small glass.
In the mouth, the result was the same but reversed: the palate, somewhat asleep by the power of alcohol, was first invaded by spices. Then comes the fruit with a beautiful presence of orange and blackberry. Finally, just before swallowing the liquid, dark chocolate appears and almost smoke!
The memory that remained in our mouths was very long. It magnifies this tasting by leaving in the mouth beautiful aromas of fruit, sugar, vanilla and honey.
Certainly this whisky is strong and powerful, but it is proof that the ABERLOUR brand is not to be taken lightly (even if it tends to be trivialized by a wide marketing). She touches here on excellence in terms of sherry barrel finishes and makes this whisky a real reference.
After a long time spent in his company, we thanked our host for this wonderful experience and prepared to leave on Route 95.
The objective to be achieved with a dreamy but also a little confused mind: trying to find our friends in order to tell them once again that with the A'BUNADH, it's like when you put PICON in beer, strange and unexplainable things happen.