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Aberfeldy 12 vs Dalmore 12: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Aberfeldy 12 vs Dalmore 12 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Aberfeldy 12

NoseHoney, caramel, vanilla, pear
PalateCaramel, apple, orange
FinishMedium, oak spice, roasted nuts
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toAberlour 12, Glenfiddich 12

The nose is subtle and sweet with hints of honey and caramel up-front, followed by vanilla and pear.

On the palate, the Aberfeldy 12 offers a creamy body providing a good mouthfeel. Flavor is sweet and rich in caramel, with hints of apple, citrus and a fair amount of oak spice bringing balance to the sweetness.

There is a tiny tad of smoke that is barely noticeable.

The finish has a decent length, with a bit of a bite, but nothing extreme, with some oak spice to it and a roasted nuts hint.

Aberfeldy will not blow you away with strong flavors, remarkable and memorable tasting notes and is not something to get too excited over but it’s nevertheless an enjoyable dram; its price makes it interesting.

Overall, Aberfeldy 12 is a good introductory bottle to single malt whisky, it’s reasonably pricedwell rounded with nothing outstanding yet nothing off-putting.

The best way of drinking the Aberfeldy is by adding a few drops of water, just a splash of water is enough to open-up the whisky releasing nice aromas while tuning-down warmth and spicy notes.

It offers an approachable flavor profile that stacks up well with better-known brands.

Learn how it compares to the Johnnie Walker Black Label!

  • Aberfeldy is aged in a combination of Sherry, Bourbon, re-fill and re-char casks.
  • Gold medal at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Aberfeldy Distillery was founded by the John Dewar & Sons, Ltd. in 1896, is located on the eastern outskirts of Aberfeldy.
  • The distillery is one of two single malt distilleries that comprise the Dewar’s as they are owned by the same parent company (Bacardi).
  • Aberfeldy is a Highland Whisky. This region offers an enormous diversity of flavors and characters. From lighter whiskies all the way through salty coastal malts.

Dalmore 12

NoseDark fruit, orange, chocolate
PalateApricot, fig, grape, pecan
FinishShort, dark fruit, baking spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toMacallan 12, Balvenie 12

The nose is one of the best among single malts as it’s rich in dark fruit, orange and chocolate, followed by hints of cinnamon and plum.

On the palate, Dalmore falls flat as it feels thin lacking in texture. Flavor hits with fruity sweetness that becomes somewhat cloying after a few sips.

The finish is short, with some warmth to it, with dark fruit, baking spice and a bitter note delivering a bad ending.

Adding water does not bring any additional flavors, it just waters down an already thin malt.

Dalmore 12 (Alternatives) takes an unfortunate downturn after an incredible nose as it provides a bad mouthfeel, a cloying flavor and a bitter note on the finish making a bad sip.

The low proof does not help its cause making the Dalmore 12 something I can’t recommend, with several better malts in the market at better prices.

You will see this whisky commonly advertised as “liquified Christmas Cake” which I never got.

I found the Dalmore to be a disappointment, it seems that they put more effort into the packaging and design of the bottle that looks quite nice than in the quality of the juice.

Learn how Dalmore compares to the Dalmore 15!

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky

  • Dalmore ages for 9 years in ex-bourbon barrels before getting split. Half ages for 3 years in thirty year-old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks and the other half remains in the ex-bourbon casks.
  • Earned the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Scored 95 points at the 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
  • Dalmore is a Highland whisky located in Alness, Scotland, founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson.
  • The brand is currently owned by Whyte & Mackay, which in turn is owned by Philippines-based Emperor.

Aberfeldy 12 vs Dalmore 12: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Aberfeldy 12$45
Dalmore 12$70

Aberfeldy 12 vs Dalmore 12: Which is better?

Aberfeldy provides better value for the money

WhiskeyAberfeldy 12Dalmore 12
  • The Aberfeldy is a better dram the Dalmore 12. The Aberfeldy is nothing out of this world but is quite competent and affordable and gets better when you add a few drops of water.
  • It provides good value for the money making it a great choice as you are unlikely to find a better single malt at this price.
  • The Dalmore is expensive, dull and cloying, it has somehow managed to give the impression of being a good Scotch but it is not unlike you like sweet-bombs, IMO.

Consider further option reading my post containing the best 12 year Single Malts to buy!

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[…] Aberfeldy will not blow you away with strong flavors, remarkable and memorable tasting notes and is not something to get too excited over but it’s nevertheless an enjoyable dram; its price makes it interesting. […]