Whisky Review: Hidden Spirits Aberfeldy Aged 10 Years

Style: Fruity and Spirit-y

Nose:
Begins with a pleasant oiliness on the nose – big and round apricots and fragrant peaches thoroughly drenched in viscous almond oil. Digging deeper, we have assorted nuts, raw peanuts, macadamia and more almonds manifesting under the fruity notes. Then comes a wave of immense spirit spice smashes in and anchors at the bottom of the aroma, bitter green herbs, boiled potato, crème de menthe… or maybe reminiscence of Chartruese, getting slightly harsh and restrictive at the back.

Palate:
Unexpectedly strong for a 51.9% whisky, although maybe not that surprising since it is an Aberfeldy. The spice dominates while the rest is struggling to make an impact on the palate. There are glimpses of fruits shining, but they are quickly overrun by the spirit. Peppermint schnapps and chili-infused vodka splashing over stone fruits, apricots and passionfruit. Feels like a fruit salad spiked with herbal liquor. Pine and green grass wrapping around the malt, finishes with coconut shreds.

Finish:
Bitter herbal overtone continues to dominate, cold peaches and nectarines soda fizzle and give an icy bite.

Thoughts:
A massive power struggle at play between the spirit spice and the fruits in this whisky. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the spirit vindicates while other elements are stifled at various degrees. The cask is pretty good, I give you that. However, the spirit harshness at one point reminds me of grain whiskies, or even vodka, which probably points to a high distillation strength. I am not 100% sure about the practice of Aberfeldy these days, but from memory it does have a higher filling strength than most of its counterparts. Maybe that ultimately has a negative impact on the quality of the malt. Borderline tick, I guess…

[Recommended if you like the Style/ Distillery]

[51.9% | Independent Bottling | 2009 Distilled | 2019 Bottled | Single Cask | Cask Reference: AB919 | 171 Bottles | Cask Strength | t-]

-Esmond