Thursday, December 29, 2011

New releases > Aberlour 1993 'Dimensions' from Duncan Taylor

Earlier this month the award winning independent bottler Duncan Taylor announced the launch of The Dimensions Collection.  This is a range of single malt and single grain Scotch whiskies that showcase some of the best casks in their stock. The collection demonstrates the multi dimensional levels of character and flavour available from individual distilleries and casks. The Dimensions Collection consists of two versions of bottling - single cask, cask strength releases and exclusively numbered small batches at 46% ABV. The initial bottlings, listed below, are now available in specialist whisky retailers.

The Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky Ltd. were set up in Glasgow in 1938 with the plan to bottle and blend whisky for export to America following the Prohibition period there. Originally based in Glasgow, they are now based in the town of Huntly close to the Speyside whisky region of Scotland. Duncan Taylor are reported to have one of the largest privately held collections of rare whisky casks in the world and bottle approximately 200 different whiskies a year. Their range is extensive and has numerous branches to it, of which The Dimensions Collection is the latest facet.

We were recently delighted to receive a small sample of the Aberlour 1993, which forms part of the initial release. This also includes a Bunnhabhain 1988, Cameronbridge 1978, Clynelish 1995, Glenlivet 1981, Glen Moray 1988, Glenrothes 1992, Macduff 1997, Mortlach 1989 and Royal Brackla 1997. For further information on The Dimensions Collection and the full range of Duncan Taylor whiskies, visit

Aberlour 1993 > Our tasting notes
This whisky is bottled at 18 years of age and a strength of 54.3% ABV.  It has been matured in an ex-bourbon cask (cask no. 7371 to be exact) following its distillation at the Speyside distillery of Aberlour in 1993. There are just 277 bottles and it is retailing around the £65-70 mark.

The colour is a pale golden yellow and the nose is fresh, vibrant and full of the classic bourbon cask characteristics - vanilla, oak, honey and coconut.  There are also numerous other aromas that come through with time to create a delicious and very promising scent - toffee, stewed pears and apples, lemon zest, bittersweet cereals and hints of peach and custard powder.  On the palate, the vibrancy of the nose continues.  An initial mouth watering hit of vanilla, wood spice (think of nutmeg and cinnamon) and lemon zest, is closely followed by notes of honey, creamy toffee and the cereals and stewed fruits from the nose. A late fruity note of peaches and dried mango add to the incredible depth and complexity.  The finish is decently long, with the initial honey and cereal sweetness turning more oaky and spicy towards the end.  The cinnamon and nutmeg from earlier are particularly prominent and create a good balance and dryness.

What's the verdict?
Duncan Taylor are multi award winning and have a great reputation within the whisky industry and with whisky drinkers.  It is easy to see why when you sample this delightful single malt.  It combines freshness and vibrancy with depth and compexity of flavour and aroma. The addition of a few drops of water makes the palate more creamy with the vanilla and honey aromas and notes increasing, while the wood spices and zest are reduced. 

This is a lovely and delicate expression of Aberlour, which normally undergoes ex-sherry cask maturation in the distillery releases and are therefore much richer and sweeter.  If only all single cask whiskies or independent bottlings were of this exceptional quality ...

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