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Aberfeldy 18 Year Cote Rotie Red Wine Cask Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

April 05, 2022

Aberfeldy 18 Year Cote Rotie Red Wine Cask Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Aberfeldy Distillery is situated in the center of Scotland, some five miles east of Loch Tay and the town of Kenmore and about eight miles south of Loch Tummel. Aberfeldy relies on the fresh water stream Pitilie Burn, which runs alongside the distillery. It is said that this water source is rich in alluvial gold, and Aberfeldy is the only distillery in Scotland to use these waters. Because of the gold in the water source and its honeyed richness and smooth approachable taste, it is known as the “Golden Dram”.  In 2021 they released our current Scotch Club pick; Aberfeldy 18 Year Cote Rotie Red Wine Cask Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

John Dewar (you may have heard of him!) was born in 1805 in the village of Dull, near Aberfeldy. In 1846 he opened a wine and spirits shop in Perth and became a pioneer of Blended Scotch. With land acquired from the Marquis of Breadalbane and architecture designed by Charles Doig, John's sons begin construction on their own distillery in 1898, and soon after, Aberfeldy went in to production. The distillery had to shut down for 2 years in 1917  to conserve stocks of barley for food rations at the end of World War One, and in 1925 it amalgamated with John Walker & Sons and Buchanans to form The Distillers Company. 

Fast forward to 1972…. The distillery underwent a significant expansion in order to increase capacity and meet the growing demand for the whisky. The distillery has two wash stills with a capacity of about 16,500 liter and two spirit stills with 15,000 liters.  With these capacities the Aberfeldy distillery lies in the middle of the range of pot still sizes. Ownership then passed to Diageo, but the brand was sold to Barcardi-Martini in 1998. In 2000, the old maltings building was converted into Dewar's World of Whisky, an impressive educational facility, and Aberfeldy 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky was introduced.

They keep things simple at Aberfeldy. All of their grain is locally grown, and they only use native Scottish yeasts. All of their Whisky is aged in ex-Bourbon casks on site. Before 1999, all of their production went into other Dewar’s blends, and their first release was the 12 year. Based on its success, additional agings and special releases have been produced in the years since.

As Women’s History Month just passed, we’d like to recognize that this blend was developed by Master Blender Stephanie Macleod. Since taking on the role in 2006, she has been involved in the creation of more than six blended Scotch whiskies and 21 single malt expressions, in addition to single casks and numerous small batch bottlings.

She was the first woman to receive the Master Blender of the Year award, and she won it again the next year!

Cheers! 

Sam Crocker/Spirits Buyer

Aberfeldy 18 Year Cote Rotie Red Wine Cask Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Region / Country of Origin: Aberfeldy, Highlands, Scotland

About the Distillery: Our Distillery is nestled within a lush valley in the foothills of the Centrals Highlands of Scotland, in the village of Aberfeldy and a stone’s throw from the birthplace of the founder, John Dewar.

About this bottling: The famous Côte Rôtie is a prestigious red wine appellation at the northern tip of Rhône Valley. The northern Rhône is a mere 40 miles long and is responsible for a tiny 4-5% of all the wines from the region. Côte Rôtie is home to some of the steepest vineyards in all of France. The climate is hot summers and cold winters with precipitation throughout the year. The vineyards are terraced to keep the soil from eroding and to help retain the warmth of the sun. The appellation covers 500 hectares, with nearly 60 official vineyards. Being the birthplace of Syrah, wines are predominantly made from the Syrah grape, which love the well-draining granite soils, however up to 20 percent of Viognier can be used, adding finesse, elegance and floral characteristics to the wine. First planted by the Romans under the rule of Caligula, the vines on its elevated, southeast-facing slopes produce wines which are both powerful and elegant. Offering depth of flavor and complex aromatics including bacon fat, black and red fruits, pepper and spice along with scented florals. The best Côte Rôtie wines offer freshness in the finish, coupled with pure red and sometimes darker berries. Medium to full bodied with sensuous, silky textures that caress the palate. Viognier grapes add floral top.

Finishing is the malt art of taking a whisky been matured for the majority of its life in one type of cask, and placing it in another cask type for a period of time to add an extra dimension of flavor. The goal is to use this cask type to complement and elevate the signature character of Aberfeldy, not mask it. As such, Stephanie MacLeod, Malt Master, carefully monitors maturation and flavor development in each cask until the desired flavors have been achieved; then the whisky is deemed ready to be bottled. 

Cask Type: Côte Rôtie French Wine Casks bestow expressive and seductive qualities, silky textures and fruits with luscious, red berry characteristics.

Price per bottle / $129

Tasting Notes:

This sumptuous dram is bursting with intense, rich fruity red berry notes of raspberry, lingonberry and red currents smothered in honey. 

Deeply evocative of an Eton Mess pudding. 

A zing of candied citrus peel brings balance before mellowing to a smooth vanilla and butterscotch sweetness.

 




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