Limited release bottles are nothing new to the whisky world, nor are single barrel offerings. What is unique though is releasing just one single barrel for an entire country. That’s exactly what Aberlour has done with their new Aberlour US Single Cask.
Count your blessings if you live in Chicago. It may have rained then snowed today, but at least we’re loaded with whisky. Every one of the approximately 120 bottles filled for Aberlour US Single Cask made its way to Chicago. Many hit the shelves of my personal happy place, Binnys, while a few made their way to some of the top whisky joints in the city.
I had a chance to sit down and try the Aberlour US Single Cask at Vol. 39 a couple weeks back, and it was absolutely glorious. I’m an Aberlour fan to begin with, so my expectations were high. Each iteration – 12, 16, 18, and my personal favorite, A’Bunadh – is unique, and there’s an ideal setting/mood for each. The 18 could easily be my daily driver if my wife wasn’t the breadwinner, and the A’Bunadh might be my second favorite dessert behind Bookers.
In my mind, Aberlour US Single Cask needed to do something interesting to merit its existence, and they did just that. Their standard 16 year old scotch is about a 50-50 split of sherry and bourbon barrels married together. In a move fitting for a product destined for the states, Aberlour US Single Cask is aged exclusively in bourbon barrels. We’re talking full tilt USA.
The result was a great smokiness not from peat (they don’t use any) but from the barrel char. It has the signature vanilla and caramel you associate with bourbon, but toned down and well integrated thanks to nearly 17 years in the Scottish climate. The proofage is noticeably lower than an American cask strength due to the climate as well, meaning you don’t necessarily need to add water to it.
At $250, Aberlour US Single Cask isn’t going to be on everyone’s list, but it’s definitely something special. Not much compares if you’re into rarity, but it’s also a stellar choice if you just like to drink great whisky. Whatever the case may be, I hope you at least find a dram of before it’s too late.