Aultmore is a distillery that is owned by Bacardi. It was first founded in 1896, changed hands a few times but eventually joined the Bacardi Malts portfolio in 1998.
For a long time the distillery was only used to create malt for blends, and it is even said that the malt created here is so good that Bacardi, who own Dewar’s, refused any deal that did not include it when they were buying the other distilleries historically owned by Dewar’s in 1998.
This saw the release of a new core range of expressions from each distillery, with Aultmore releasing a 12 Year Old, 25 Year Old, a 30 Year Old and finally a 21 Year Old that is only available from travel retail.
These malts were released to critical acclaim, and the 25 is a particularly fine example of the stunning drams that are created at Aultmore.
It has won two gold medals, one for in the Speyside Single Malt 21 Years and Over category at the 2016 World Whiskies Awards and one in the Highlands & Islands 19-30yo category at the 2015 Scotch Whisky Masters.
It opens with a nose that is full of fruit, with bananas, pears, apples and raisins. These are all covered in a wonderfully thick and creamy caramel sauce.
The sweetness of the caramel goes perfectly with the slight sharpness from the fruit. The two flavours meld together in harmony.
The caramel has a distinctly saccharine flavour to it, verging on burnt white sugar.
There is also an aroma of vanilla, which is given great depth by an earthy oak wood flavour that comes through.
On the palette the oak becomes more obvious and sweet, melting into the caramel notes.
Orchard fruits and dried raisins and apricots appear to give you something to chew on and the creaminess from the nose becomes palpable in the mouth feel.
There is also a lovely warming hint, with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. These go hand in hand with the vanilla and give a nice subtle kick to the background of the dram.
The finish is long and lingers on oak. It has a warming sensation, with spices and fruits coming through for a final hint of sweetness.