On Tuesday Highland scotch whisky producer Aberfeldy announced the launch of its first expression finished in Napa Valley wine casks. Aberfeldy 15 Year Old launches to the U.S. in the nick of time for Father’s Day. The offering, the latest release in Aberfeldy’s Red Wine Collection, is set to sell for $70 online at the distillery’s shop.
Aberfeldy 15 Year Old Napa Valley Red Wine Cask was initially matured in a combination of refill casks prior to being finished in ex-Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Barriques. Cabernet Sauvignon is colloquially named the “king of red grapes,” in the storied region, so says Wine Enthusiast.
The distillery based out of the Scottish Highlands has experimented with red wine casks in the past, such as with a limited-release scotch that was finished in Pomerol barrels. Some of the most exorbitantly priced wines in the world, like Château Pétrus, are based out of that region, according to The New York Times.
Aberfeldy continued to experiment with scotch aged in wine casks from other parts of Bordeaux and The Rhône Valley, which is another French region known for its smoky and wild expressions of Syrah or Hermitage.
“Aberfeldy with a Napa red wine finish delights with fragrant notes of raspberry jam, parma violets then cinnamon and freshly ground coffee beans, all alongside the signature honeyed profile. It’s a rare, complex dram to savor,” Malt Master Stephanie Macleod commented on the latest expression in a news release.
As the years progress, the cost of Napa Valley Cabernet grapes continues to grow, and according to the San Francisco Chronicle, as many as 71% of wineries within the region plan to raise their prices, largely due to inflation and the cost of materials.
According to Wine Folly, oak barrels fetch a pretty penny, and this higher price point naturally ripples outward into finishing casks for spirits.
Macleod was innately passionate about maturation and flavor development. She chose to age Aberfeldy’s scotches in wine casks due to her own personal passion for wine, according to the brand.
Tasting Notes, Via Aberfeldy
Nose: Raspberry jam, parma violets, fresh ground coffee.
Taste: Creamy and refreshing with honey notes.
Finish: Long and satisfying.