By Kurt Maitland
Aultmore is a Speyside distillery in Keith, Banffshire. founded in 1895 by Alexander Edward, the then owner of the Benrinnes distillery. The distillery has had a tumultuous early history, changing owners repeatedly and shutting down on several occasions. Since 1998 things have been more stable, and the distillery has been owned by Dewars.
Recently Bacardi, parent company of Dewars, chose to begin releasing some of the component whiskies of the Dewars blends as single malts under the banner of “The Last Great Malts.” One of these is the Aultmore of the Foggie Moss 12 Year Old, bottled at 46% ABV.
Color: White gold.
Nose: Malty cereal, light whiffs of honey, vanilla crème,
Taste: It starts out lightly sweet like a white wine you would sip in the summer, then gets drier as the astringency kicks in. This mirrors the mouthfeel, which starts silky smooth before quickly turning dry and slightly astringent. Each additional sip brings other flavors to the fore, mainly a hint of cantaloupe and the vanilla of the nose.
Finish: White pepper spiciness with a honeyed sweetness and long-lasting finish. I could see this working nicely with a cigar.
Adding water brings down the smoothness and ups the spiciness of this release. It is as if the water removes the middle from the whisky while accentuating the pepperiness of the finish. The drawback is you lose a bit of the sweetness along the way.
This Aultmore is a nice, easy drinking release. It’s not overly complex (that crown goes to the Craigallechie release, especially their 23 Year Old, which is one of the best whiskies I’ve ever tasted), but it would be a great dram to welcome you home from work and to kick back with.
There is a lot a variation on the price of this release, with prices as low as $52 but with the bulk of the prices falling with the mid-$60 to low $70-dollar range.