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Cigar Spirits: Aberfeldy 21 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

23 Jan 2012

[Editors’ Note: The following is written by Martin, a friend of who lives in Scotland and writes at]

Oh dearest, dearest pocket. I sincerely hope you can forgive me once more for digging too deep, collecting the very last you had to offer, for no reason other than my own decadence. Forgive, and recover. I’m sure most, or at least many, fellow whisky lovers of less than unlimited means will have been in a similar situation at least once: You know you shouldn’t buy something, but equally you know that there is absolutely no chance of you not buying it.

Well that’s the situation in which I now find myself. I was in the shop the other day to pick up a couple nice beers and, as I approached the till, my eye immediately went to the lovely selection of whiskies stashed behind it—the sneaky buggers always know how to get you, don’t they? Put yummiest stuff by the till and any flesh and bone human is instantly rendered unable to do anything but make an unplanned purchase.

That is basically the unnecessarily long story of how I ended up buying a bottle of Aberfeldy 21 Year Old, at just over £90 ($140) for the bottle.

I had been wanting to try it for quite some time and my local pub hasn’t had it in stock, so my basic line of reasoning (ever so refined, as always) was, “Why the heck not?” With my quite considerable expense in mind, expectations were high. The nose on the toffee-colored spirit didn’t disappoint, presenting a bouquet of flowers, oak, and an exotic sweetness which I can only describe as somewhere between Brazil nut and coconut. So far so very good. The palate is light and has a bit more kick to it, starting off with a pinch of spice, followed by heathery honey, oak, and sweet citrus—which I suppose might make it orange, though I’m not sure I actually want to be that precise about it. Oh well, too late now! As for the finish, it’s basically long, dry, and carries a mild spiciness all the way through, and it’s delicious.

The question which will undoubtedly be on everyone’s mind at this point (assuming you all share my exact thought pattern) is: Was it worth the ninety-odd pound? The answer is yes, and no, and maybe, and oh I don’t know! I don’t have any regrets because it is a delicious whisky—very nicely balanced, very drinkable, all in all very pleasant. But then again, it is a quite expensive whisky, and I can’t say that I wouldn’t be able to get an equally nice bottle for half the price. It’s a tough call, but if you like a light, well-balanced, slightly sweet and spicy whisky, and it’s within your price range, then I’d say go for it.

-Read more from Martin at

photo credit: The Whisky Exchange

3 Responses to “Cigar Spirits: Aberfeldy 21 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky”

  1. Travis Monday, January 23, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    £90 = $140 USD. I appreciate Martin's willingness to throw down to try some scotch, but this is well above my price range. I hope it was fantastic for the money!

  2. cigarphil Monday, January 23, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Hello Martin, I note you live in Scotland….Haven't you been to Cadenheads? THAT IS TEMPTATION!!!!!!

  3. Ira Monday, January 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    At $140, it is a bit of a splurge. I read some very good things about the Aberfeldy 12 year old. While there's no way that bottle could be as nuanced as the 21 year old, for $35 or so, it seems a no-brainer to try.