Aberfeldy and Finca Ambrosia partner to create Malbec finish

18 April, 2024

Scotch whisky brand Aberfeldy has partnered with Argentinian Winery, Finca Ambrosia, for the most recent edition to its Wine Cask Collection.

Aberfeldy 21 Year Old Malbec Cask Finish is the first partnership of its kind for the distillery, combining malt master Stephanie Macleod and winemaker Daniel Pi’s skills to select the particular casks used for finishing. 

At a tasting Drinks International attended at the brand’s home in Scotland, Macleod said it was always “frustrating that we could never disclose the vineyard or the winery that provided the casks we used because we didn’t have a partnership with them, so we always yearned for a winery that we could partner with.”

Distilled on 14 November 2021 and matured for over two decades in Sherry and Bourbon re-fill barrels and hogsheads, the limited edition Aberfeldy 21 Year Old is then finished for roughly eight months in Finca Ambrosia’s Malbec French Oak wine casks.

“We have been on a journey with finishing our whisky in different types of casks,” Macleod added. “A few years ago we started with red wine casks. When I first took on the role of master blender in 2006, a year later we decided to take a risk and buy some wine casks, such as Madeira and some other types, to do some experiments without anyone else knowing. 

“We were really surprised to see the effect these casks had on our whisky, and a number of years later we then started to bottle them. That was really what gave us the idea to have the exceptional cask range, so we then started to look at French red wines and then moved to Italy with our Tuscan casks,” Macleod continued.

For this partnership, Macleod added she was “slightly worried with the casks coming all the way from Argentina to Scotland, there’s always a worry they might spoil on the journey. As with all the casks we receive, we nosed them and were wonderfully surprised with how fresh and vibrant they were. We decided to go with the Aberfeldy 21 Year Old because it’s a whisky where the wood has an influence but doesn’t dominate the character, so it’s very approachable.

“Whisky is always challenging because it’s always shifting, the demand is never as it’s written down on paper, there’s always something that will change it and will change the dynamics of our blending,” Macleod continued.

The Finca Ambrosia estate is located at the foothills of the Andes Mountains at an altitude of 1250m. The finishing casks provided to Aberfeldy previously held Finca Ambrosia’s Viña Unica, an oaked red wine that has spent 15 months in used French oak barrels. 

Aberfeldy 21 Year Old Malbec Cask Finish is bottled at 46% abv, is non-chill filtered and priced at rrp £230, available direct from the distillery shop and in select global markets. 

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