We take a trip out of Scotland and down to Wales to look at the inaugural release from Aber Falls distillery.
Aber Falls Inaugural Release
For those unaware, Aber Falls is a Welsh distillery in the village of Abergwyngregyn, which sits at the foot of the famous Aber Falls waterfall. It is the first distillery in North Wales since the early 1900s, and was founded by James Wright in 2017.
Their inaugural release was produced with 100% Welsh malted barley and matured in a combination of American virgin oak, sherry and orange wine casks. Just 2,000 bottles were released.
Initially we’re finding it very citrus forward with lashings of lemon and lime juice. There’s the faintest hint of toffee from the sherry casks, and as we nose it we can’t help but notice the alcohol. Air reveals ginger peel, toast, dirt and freshly cut grass. Going back to again and there’s warm buttery croissants, dried apricots and an almost smokey like note. We’d have guessed this was virgin oak or a wine cask if nosing blind.
Like the nose the palate is fairly citrus forward. We’re also getting some mango, pickled (sushi) ginger, and papaya. It’s got a fair alcohol bite considering the ABV is only 46%, but then it’s also got a pretty good mouthfeel, we find this can be missing from whiskies that have been reduced. There’s some citrus and pepper spice lingering on a good length finish. Going back to it and we get treacle tart, golden syrup and lemon fizz hard boiled sweets. Impressively there’s no hints of new make we usually get from whiskies this young. It’ll be interesting to try a single cask to see if this is a whisky that drinks well young or if it’s a triumph of the blending.
Nose (with water)
Water brings out more of the sherry cask influences and there’s now more toffee with the treacle, golden syrup and caramel from the pre dilution palate appearing on the nose. There’s also some chocolate covered strawberries, and Christmas spices i.e. nutmeg and cinnamon. We’re finding the alcohol is also still very present.
Palate (with water)
The caramel, and golden syrup notes are now more dominate. There’s also now some dried dates and a mango influence. Water hasn’t really done much to reduce the spice on the palate. The mouthfeel is a touch thinner, but remains good. The finish has a little more spice and less sweetness with a hint of dark chocolate appearing as the dram lingers on the tongue.
We were looking forward to this one as its always interesting to try the first whisky from a new distillery, and with this release also having the added hook of orange wine cask maturation in the mix we were doubly intrigued, and we weren’t disappointed. It’s a solid dram, with some interesting flavours, that shows a lot of promise for the future. It’s not good enough however to make us rush out and get another bottle, but we’ll definitely be checking in on the distillery in the future.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
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