The Recommendation: Aberlour 12 Year Old Scotch

»Scotch is a tough spirit to drink for the uninitiated. It isn't mixed with many things, meaning if it's in your glass you're either drinking it on the rocks or neat with no ice.

When I learned to drink it correctly, slow with small sips, I finally started to see why guys get into the stuff.

A friend of mine recently came back from Scotland, and being the true gentleman that he is, sent me a bottle of his favorite scotch that he tried while visiting the distilleries.

It was a brand neither of us were familiar with, but it has since become my favorite. Aberlour 12 Year is a single malt scotch that is smooth enough for this typical “on the rocks” guy to finally drink a glass neat.

I'm no connoisseur and typically can't speak in terms of character or top notes, but this single malt is sweet and smooth, with clear hints of cherry and honey in the flavor.

It won't cost you an arm and a leg either, you can pick up a bottle for about $35.

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Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.


  • Reply July 1, 2011


    I’ve been looking for a smooth scotch to round out my offering for guests on the home front and will give it a try. Not a expert, so I appreciate the suggestion.

  • Reply July 1, 2011


    No expert myself either, just several bottles in from different brands. Give it a try and let me know your thoughts!

  • Reply July 1, 2011


    This will be a great gift for my boyfriend who’s just getting into scotch himself. Always appreciate the good gift.

  • Reply August 4, 2011

    michael herbert

    i have had some that taste like gasoline. my favorite is macallan. it is aged in sherry casks. smooth smokeyand just a hint of sweetness.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Christopher Garriso

    I tried this last night. I’m usually a Glenlivet/Glenfiddich/Glenmorangie man, but just wanted something new. I was extremely disappointed. I love a dram with a couple ice cubes in it, and was almost pissed off with this with 2 cubes. Near $50 for something that was flat, shy, and narrow with ice. Its character quadrupled when drinking neat but was still unappealing, a bit too burn-y, and really just not peaty enough for me. It felt like a 75% bourbon-25% scotch mix. Pretty shitty. Disappointing. I want my money back. It’s been a while since I’ve spent $50 on a bottle of scotch and decided it was worth more to me to get drunk off of it.

    • Reply June 26, 2013

      Robert L

      It has more character than Glenmorangie 10, and the other 3 listed have no peat. WTF are you talking about?

  • Reply November 19, 2013


    Abelour 12 Year has been my favorite ever since I read this article about a year ago, it’s definitely a go-to. At this price point, it is hard to find a better scotch. At a scotch tasting with 15 guys and 15 bottles, Abelour 12 year was tied as the third favorite, a tie with Macallan 12. The top scotch was Auchentochan Three Wood, and then Abelour 18 year, both costing considerably more expensive than Abelour 12. Taste wise, I agree with everything written in the article above.

    • Reply November 19, 2013


      So glad you liked it! Thanks for checking back.

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