Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery recently launched a new Chocolate & Whisky tasting as part of the distillery tour offerings.
To celebrate this, they hosted a chocolate and whisky tweet tasting where we were given the chance to sample three of their classic single malts along with the chocolate pairing.
The chocolates come from Charlotte Flower Chocolates who are based near Aberfeldy in Acharn. Each dark chocolate for this tasting is single origin and was selected to match their respective whiskies by Stephanie McLeod, Dewar’s Master Blender.
Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
Aberfeldy 12 year old single malt is the the distillery’s core expression and is has a longer maturation period then typical for the industry. Maturation takes place in a range of cask types before being vatted together for bottling at 40%.
This was paired with a Ben Tre 78% cocoa dark chocolate from Vietnam.
Light honey nose, with some vanilla caramel. Sweet orange peel follows.
Fairly thin liquid, with that orange zest being the strongest flavour initially. Honey sweetness arrives followed by a burst of peppery spice which is surprisingly punchy given how smooth the other flavours are.
The peppery note holds in the back of the throat, before subsiding into a slightly oaked dry honey finish.
Dewar’s 12 Year Old
Dewar’s 12 Year old is described as a ‘premium blend’ which is blended before being returned to oak casks for a final period of maturation.
It’s also bottled at 40% abv.
The paired chocolate is 70% cocoa from Guatemala which has smooth creamy characteristics.
Fresh green apples initially, but followed by a strong grain cereal note. Raisin sweetness appears along with some buttery fudge. All sorts of autumnal baked goods come to mind.
Buttery cream with soft read fruits some lemon sherbets. Gets a little spicy, though still very restrained with just a hint of lemon pith sourness as it develops.
Slightly disappointing finish, quite short and a bit watery. Seems to be missing something to hold the flavour at the end.
Dewar’s 18 Year Old
The distillery’s ‘Super premium’ blend, again bottled at 40%.
Paired with 70% chocolate from Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Heathered honey with orange / lemon citrus notes. There’s a slightly woody apple in there too – it’s quite a subtle nose, but nicely balanced.
Richer mouthfeel immediately hints at the quality of the Dewar’s 18; even at 40% there’s a creamy buttery feeling.
Strong hints of vanilla and butterscotch, dried fruit almond nuttiness and slight citrus. There’s a slight smoked peppery catch just before the finish and it’s all beautifully balanced.
That silky mouthfeel holds the flavour right though to the end – orange infused cream.
The chocolates worked very well with the whiskies – in all cases complementing the expressions flavour profile and revealing the complexity of each.
Having done the Aberfeldy distillery tour in the past, we’d heartily recommend taking at look at the Whisky and Chocolate Tasting tour if you’re looking for something different.
The Whisky & Chocolate Tasting Tour is available now at the Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery. It costs £23 and the experience lasts for about two hours.