Based in the depths of Speyside, a fact that they are very proud of, Aultmore is a little known distillery owned by John Dewar & Sons and producing some very fine malt.
Indeed, the malt is so fine that it has the privilege of joining brands such as Craigellachie and Deveron amongst the ranks of Dewar’s Last Great Malts.
BenRinnes owner Alexander Edward built the distillery itself in the 1895. Originally, it ran on steam but this remarkable feature was transformed into electricity in 1969.
The malt made here was mostly used for Dewar’s blends, but after Bacardi took over the company, a 12 Year Old was released in 2004.
The range has grown since then and now includes a 21 Year Old as well as a 25 Year Old. So lets delve into this golden liquid and see what we find!
The 12 Year Old seems the best place to begin. The nose is light and frsh and captures the romantically secluded, wooded surroundings of the distillery itself.
It has a sweet honeyed notes with fresh cut grass covered in morning dew. These flavours are developed on the palate, and are joined by floral and fruity notes that are wonderfully characteristic of Speyside malts.
There is a tangy twist of lemon and oranges that combines perfectly with the freshness of the cut grass.
The honey is joined by sweet vanilla that gives a little bit of depth on the palate that blooms into a quick, dry finish that brings back the delicateness of the nose.
The 21 Year Old continues with this sweetness and has a spicier profile. The honey and cinnamon of the 12 are bigger and bolder in the 21, combining the flavours with a good kick.
The nose is full of spices and sweet, syrupy notes. Underneath it all is a slight hint of refreshing fruit and bright juicy apples and pears.
The palate takes these flavours to another level. The spice is deep and rich, with cinnamon and orange cloves at the front. There is also a thick, creamy caramel flavour that mixes well with the fruity flavours.
The cinnamon becomes slightly peppery with a note of sweet, white oak wood in the background. The 21 Year Old also offers up some crisp herbal notes that recall the fresh cut grass of the 21, but are more aromatic in their flavour.
The palate is wonderfully smooth and has a great mouth feel that brings together all the different tastes.
The finish is longer than the 12 Year Old, but not by too much. The cinnamon spice and thick sweetness continue in the finish.
Finally, we have arrived the last stop on the Aultmore Tour: The 25 Year Old.
This dram is packed full of saccharine flavours that will have you longing for more.
On the nose is the characteristic honeyed sweetness with candyfloss and warm sugary notes. There are some light floral tones, like lavender and rose petals that are subtle but exquisite.
There is also a vanilla oak sense that is developed into a slight spicy tang on the palate. The floral notes become sweeter and are coated in thick caramel.
There is a real depth to this dram that comes through in the undertones of bitter dark chocolate and ground coffee beans. These tie in well with the floral and sweet flavours.
The 25 Year Old captures the beautiful woodland surroundings of the distillery, as well as the rich oak of the barrels.
The Aultmore range has certainly earned its place in the Last Great Drams selection. The flavours are rich and deep and explore different aspects of flavour.
This is a dram that should be brought out of the shadows and into the light and it looks like Dewar’s are planning on doing just that!
Also published on Medium.