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A Collector's Favourite: Aberlour A'bunadh

Auction Highlights

03.03.2021

Exploring Aberlour's most collectible and sought-after variant, A'bunadh

Exploring Aberlour's most collectible and sought-after variant, A'bunadh

Exploring Aberlour's most collectible and sought-after variant, A'bunadh

We are delighted to bring to auction a comprehensive collection of over 60 Abelour A'bunadh expressions as part of Pat's Whisk(e)y Collection - the world's largest collection of whisky to come to auction.

Aberlour is a picturesque Speyside distillery, built in 1879 by local grain dealer James Fleming after the original distillery of the same name was lost in a fire. James Fleming already ran Dailuaine distillery just a few miles away, however, with the lease soon to run out he designed and built the small intimate Aberlour distillery and spirit first ran in 1880.

In 1898, the distillery was destroyed in a fire (a common hazard for many Victorian distilleries), and was required to be completely rebuilt. As it was rebuilt, the distillery was redesigned and modernised by Scotland's foremost designer of whisky distilleries at the time, Charles Doig.

Aberlour became the first distillery in the S. Campbell & Son portfolio when they acquired it in 1945, and produced fillings for their popular Clan Campbell and White Heather blends. Production capacity was increased to meet rising demand for its spirit in 1973, and the following year the company was bought over by Pernod-Ricard who operated it under the Campbell Distillers before merging it with Chivas Brothers, which they acquired from Seagram in 2001.

Aberlour's core range consists of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry matured 12-, 14-, 16- and 18-year old expressions alongside a cask strength offering and Casg Annamh which translates to 'rare cask' and is matured in three separate cask types.

In 1997, Aberlour launched A’bunadh, meaning ‘the original’ in Gaelic. A'Bunadh is bottled at cask strength in the tradition of 19th century single malts when villagers would come to the distillery to collect their dram straight from the cask, often in apothecary bottles obtained from the village chemist. These were the inspiration for the A'bunadh bottle shape today.

The whisky is bottled exclusively from Spanish Oloroso sherry butts, and although it bears no age-statement is believed to be aged from 5-25 years old. A’bunadh releases are offered every year in limited run batches and their reverence has greatly boosted the popularity of the distillery.

Over the years, Aberlour have also introduced some special additions to the A'bunadh batches including a Millennium edition which featured a sterling silver label and a very special 'Silver Edition' limited to only 37 numbered bottles, however, not much is known about the details behind this release.

A’bunadh is the star of Aberlour, consistently receiving high praise amongst sherry fanatics. These heavily Sherried styles of whisky, often described as ‘sherry bombs’ can divide opinions, however with over 60 batches to date of A’bunadh, it’s certain that this is a collector’s favourite here to stay.

 

Eilidh Jack

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