A couple of weeks ago, the very generous people over at Dewar’s sent over one of the latest whiskies from their little – so to speak – project called ‘Last Great Malts’. Aultmore is often used to go into blends and referred to as the icing on the cake, because it is that good, though there has been some independent bottlings. So it was music to many ears, mine included, to hear that John Dewar & Sons would be dusting off those old casks and releasing some expressions.
Before we dive into this Scotch, a little information on this little know Distillery. The Aultmore distillery stands within a strange landscape in a remote part of the Speyside region of Keith, Banffshire, often obscured from view by thick mists that arise from the curious local terrain of the ‘Foggie Moss’. Exuding an air of mystery, this sparsely populated land has always felt isolated and in days gone by was well-known for harbouring illicit stills. In 1897, Alexander Edward decided to open a legitimate distillery in this lonesome location.
Aultmore’s single malt is exceptionally smooth with a clean, grassy, fruity taste, which can be traced to the abundant springs of the neighbouring Foggie Moss. Here, its hidden water source trickles down through the boggy terrain. The natural flora of bracken, gorse and heather filter and purify the water drawn for whisky-making, helping to naturally refine the character of Aultmore’s spirit. The distillery’s malted barley, entirely free from peat smoke, also adds to the smooth taste of this uncommon Speyside whisky, which continues to be distilled in handmade copper pot stills.
After more than a century of seclusion, this hidden great of Speyside has been unveiled.
AULTMORE 12 YEAR OLD SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH
On the nose: you’ll be welcomed with sweet notes of toffee apple. Notes of almonds will start to appear followed by notes of fresh pears and hints of a herby nature. Some earthy grass notes will start to appear along with some vanilla, oatmeal, spicy cinnamon and hints of fennel seeds. On the palate: you’ll experience those sweet apple and toffee notes. These will then be followed by some oranges, those almonds, a touch of aniseed and just the smallest hint of zest. The spices will start to emerge along with those green herbs, with the lightest touch of smokey oak! The finish: is long, sweet and spicy with a lingering musky note.
The verdict: The Aultmore 12yo has some consistently, beautifully balanced notes that are at first hidden but with a bit of oxygen start to blossom, turning this drop into a stunning dram that will definitely surprise you. The Aultmore 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt is non chill-filtered, with an ABV of 46% and every bottle is numbered uniquely. A whisky that, in my opinion, didn’t need any water – though if you do need to then only add a very small amount. If you don’t feel the urge to add any water then allow the scotch to breathe for approx. 5 minutes to open up the nose and palate.
Aultmore 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch can be found in well stocked whisky shops and online for approximately £50
For more information on this 12-year-old Aultmore, visit the official Last Great Malts website.