Abhainn Dearg – The Single Malt

Abhainn Dearg’s 3 year old single malt reviewed.

We reviewed Abhainn Dearg distillery’s Spirit of Lewis yesterday; now it’s the turn of the Single Malt. This 46% ABV whisky has been aged in a single American Oak cask for just over 3 years.

Rather than produce a annual ‘work in progress’ whisky as many other distilleries do, Abhainn Dearg plan to keep releasing the 3 year old until until they are ready to move to a standard 10 year old expression in order to keep enough stock back.


Pinot grigio.


Hints of sour lemon and fresh grass with a little pear and apple sharpness.

Leaving it in the glass for a while reveals toffee sweetness but overall it’s quite subtle.


Quite a thin spirit with fairly harsh green barley flavours; almost like a young Irish Potstill Whiskey. Some vanilla sweetness appears then lemon sourness takes over. A strange rubbbery note appears then leads into a dry, short finish with a spicy nuttiness and some cereal sweetness.


Having tasted the Spirit of Lewis, my hopes were raised for this whisky since it’s had an extra couple of years in a cask. Unfortunately what has been bottled is not really to my taste at all. Although there are signs of the American Oak influence; they are completely dominated by the raw barley flavours and the whole whisky feels out of balance.

Perhaps more time will improve this and bring it into balance but as it stands, I don’t think I’ll be drinking much more of the 3 year old single malt.

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