The Abelour 12 sherry cask (travel only) opens with a Brazil-like (the movie) cluster infestation of hydroponic tubes, wires, and grow lights. They are exuding muted rose butter melting into a picnic table cloth. I got the aromas from the merlot the bride spilled on her wedding dress when she inadvisedly tried dabbing while on the dance floor. (So 2017!) There was also lilac, tulips, petunias doused with perfume, and coriander from a fairly unique bridal bouquet—unless it was the lapel arrangement of the dashing and flamboyant best man.
The mouth is like a big ol’ brass band, filled with thumping bass, oom-pah-pahing tubas, and noodling soprano saxes. John got botanical dissection tools, because of course he did. It hits the tongue like an F16 ready to blast off, and then, unsurprisingly, it blasts off. There are leather bombs thrown at drag queens, and a small, but remarkable, pack of anacondas of bitterness slithering through the lush rainforest of sweetness and delight, lurking there amongst the Ficus altissima, aka strangler fig vines aka Banyan trees. Nota bene: the anacondas are most definitely not an Evil Snake in the Garden of Eden metaphor. Just in case you were worried about that, the Abelour is sin-free, inducing the loveliest sang-froid, inclining one to feel generally sans souci. The anacondas molt their orange rind skin—and you begin to wonder if someone slipped you some ayahuasca tea you to sip while reading this review.
The finish, I’d love to say, was a perfect continuation of the wedding party that segued into the rainforest, but instead it takes us to the spice cabinet. There’s white pepper on the finish, red pepper, chile pepper, green pepper, Art Pepper, Peppa Pig, Sergeant Pepper, Pepper Johnson, Pepper Anderson, and Pepe Le Moko. (I may not have accurately recorded which peppers are notable in the strong finish.) There’s not complexity, nor really nuance, but there is an ongoing long, long, long slide trombone of goodness, like that played by J. J. Johnson, the great trombonist for Sonny Rollins, just thrumming and tremolo-ing in my throat. There’s also a kind of tangy bitterness underlying it, like the emotions felt by Broadway performers who were sure they deserved that plum role, not that over-emoting drama queen diva who panders to the tourists.
On the scale of drum strokes–
The Abelour 12 Year Old Sherry Cask Matured is a Flam Paradiddle-diddle, which is alternating paradiddle-diddles, with flams on the first note of each–Got that? Really, all I mean is that the Abelour 12 Sherry Cask Matured is propulsive, explosive, and resonant for a long time.