What has happened to Aberlour?

Another distillery which completely and utterly lost its shit.

Are the people in charge of Single Malt Scotch Whisky actually addicted to Crystal Meth? I dunno but the way Aberlour has fallen off a cliff in the past couple of years is astounding.

This of course is just my opinion and I’m sure those courted by the industry and Pernod Ricard in particular (parent company of Aberlour) will have different and completely impartial opinions too.

Before I get all bitter and ranting and stuff let me take you back a few years to a simpler time when both the excellent Aberlour 10, 12 and the legendary cask strength A’Bunadh were all well priced, beautifully presented and all round superb whiskies, a credit to the industry and the county.

The 10 was a bottle usually priced at £25 but often be discounted to between £18 to £20, the 12 was a much rarer affair but excellent, priced at £30 and of course the A’Bunadh.

Now, the A’Bunadh was always under priced to pretty much everyone, It was a youngish, bold whisky which was selling for around £40, that was bonkers then but don’t worry everyone, Aberlour soon sorted that out. Anyway Aberlour A’Bunadh was one of the few readily available and approachable cask strength whiskies for the masses. In Glasgow Peckhams and Oddbins stocked it, so might Waitrose but I don’t recall but anyway, it was both easy to get and wonderful to drink, a truly perfect whisky, then the quality dropped and the price rocketed.

The A’Bunadh aside, because it was always under priced, it is tragic to see how far Aberlour have fallen.

A few years back, within five years though because I’ve only worked where I work for just under five years and I bought these coming home, I saw Aberlour 10 for ridiculous price of £16 in Aldi, I thought the price must have been wrong but like the time I found a few bottle of Glen Moray 10 Year Old Chardonnay Cask in B&M Bargains for £20 a bottle this was the legit price and I scooped them up. They are still up the loft. And then the price started creeping up.

Now the £20 bargain never seems to dip below £22-23 and is usually seen on offer from just over £30 to £25. Mock me all you want for moaning about a few quid but this price hike has appeared out of nowhere for no reason other than a new label on the bottle.

They’ve also stopped making the 12 Year Old 48% non chill filtered version which was another belter.

The 12 and 16 have gone up in price but it’s the 18 that’s really brought all this to a head.

The 18 used to be about £90 (I think, I’ve never bought a bottle, I had one gifted to me once a couple of years back) and bottled at 43% for a reason no one can explain to me is now a 40% offering in a 50cl bottle and the price appears to have gone mental, it’s over £100 on Master of Malt and Amazon (currently on offer at Amazon at £90 at time of ranting).

A 50cl bottle so down 20cl a reduced ABV and a price increase? All in one go, but hey it’s got a pretty new label so we’re good, yeah?

Want to talk about the NAS expressions? No, me neither.

Aberlour is hardly the only distillery to be mismanaged in this way, it seems to be the way that so many mega whisky corporations are squeezing every penny they can out of punters with not a care in the world, just one of the reasons I’m turning more and more to independent bottlers who aren’t on bended knee to giant owners.

Aberlour though have upset because like Glenlivet they were entry whiskies who used to offer real quality for a very reasonable price but now? Sigh.

I wonder who are next?

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The Captain.



  1. Couldn’t agree more. Really disappointing how much of a price hike they made. I can understand prices have to go up with inflation etc etc but this really was out of the blue and way over the top. I actually went to buy a bottle of Aberlour 16 the other day, then saw the new price and didn’t bother!


  2. Not just Aberlour, the vast majority of Pernod Ricard whiskys are overpriced, bland nonsense. Only Redbreast and the Nadurra range are worth the entrence fee. I’m enjoying and having more fun with Aldis bottles just now.


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