Around a year and a half ago I snagged a bottle of the batch #14, I was interested in getting a cask strength malt and the bottle looked pretty. Since then the #14 has been described as being "legendary". I agree. But I was somewhat skeptical that people were really finding so much difference between batches. I chalked it up to the #14 just being at the right place at the right time. Maybe it sold more thus got more ratings. Well, after finding out that Aberlour A'Bunadh was soon to become extinct (at least here in Ontario) I went on a small mission to grab one last bottle (My #14 was and is down to about 3 fingers). I called and reserved the last bottle in the store and drove for almost an hour to get it. It was waiting for me, a #18.
I opened the 18 this weekend and did a side by side comparison...hoping that the 18 would be just a new full bottle of 14!
It was not. (had I had known I would not have slugged back the 14 so wantonly over the last year!)
Now keep in mind the 14 has been open for over a year and has softened a bit. Nevertheless the 18 just doesn't have quite the same super-concentrated tangy, fruitiness of the 14. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it really is quite different than the 14 (apart from the fact that the 18 is 0.2% higher in alcohol thus requires a drop more water to even the scales). It's a more astringent on the nose, lacks the flavour POW! of the 14. They are both clearly the "same" whisky but they are different shades of the same colour.
I an curious as to how the 18 will change over time...I suspect it will be for the better. It hasn't really had a fair shake yet as when I did the tasting I had already had several other drams (what? it was Friday!). I'll have another go soon.
I the meantime I will savour and protect every last drop of the #14, drinking it only when the time is right. I may even leave a dram or 2 in the bottle so I can always stick my nose in there from time to time and enjoy it unique and powerful bouquet. The day that last drop is poured will be a sad day indeed. But alas, all good things...
Anyone have a 14 the want to sell?
lawschooldrunk wrote:hmm, I've only tasted the 18 and I'm with you on the astringency nose. but, I've never compared it to any other batch. now, I'm kinda sad and will have to keep my eyes open for a 14.
Don't be sad, I didn't mean to disparage your 18! I just liked the 14 so much I was dissapointed that the 18 was not EXACTLY the same. But as noted I really didnt give it a very fair shot. I need to re-taste it on it's own merrits rather than as a comparison. I think I'm just going to figure out how it's best drunk. I suspect it'll need a bit more aeration before drinking (swishing it around for a bit to dissipate some of the alcohol vapours) and add a touch more water than the 14 needed.
Heck, even #15 with its sulphur scent improves over time !
It's the pokemon of whiskies, you got to collect them all !
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