Aultmore 18, 1997 (SMWS)

Aultmore 18, 1997
This is the first Aultmore I’ve reviewed on the blog and it may, indeed, be the first Aultmore I’ve ever tried. I can’t recall another and nor can my spreadsheet. Always nice to taste the whisky of a distillery one has never tried before. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this is going to be representative of what they usually put out. Aultmore is in the Speyside and is part of Bacardi’s Scotch whisky holdings. The distillery was mostly known for producing for blends but a couple of years ago they suddenly starting releasing official single malts. Among their current regular releases are a 12 yo, an 18 yo and a 25 yo. I can’t recall how these have been received by the cognoscenti but if I like this one I might be motivated to seek at least the 12 yo out. In the meantime, I have absolutely no idea what Aultmore’s general profile is supposed to be like and so I am going into this with absolutely no preconceptions. Well, let’s get to it. 

Aultmore 18, 1997 (57.8%; SMWS 73.72 “A Ray of Sunshine”; bourbon cask; from a bottle split)

Nose: Honey and lemon and a nice prickly grassiness. The citrus expands rather quickly and there’s a slightly bitter zestiness to it too and then some white pepper to go with it. With more time there’s a fruity hard candy aspect to it. Sweeter and pricklier at first with a big splash of water and then as it settles down there’s quite and explosion of floral and fruity notes (peach, red berries).

Palate: Sweeter to start (with a mineral quality) and then all the other stuff from the nose. Very nice oily texture. No real development after that with quite a bit of time and air. Let’s see what water does. Well, it takes all the stuff that was already there and integrates them even more: the sweeter notes, the lemon zest and the chalky/mineral thing. The texture is still very nice.

Finish: Long. The citrus expands again on the finish. Even longer with water and sweeter and spicier at the end.

Comments: Well, this was very nice indeed. I really liked the nose, both neat and with water (though more with water). The palate was simpler but also very pleasant. Yes, I think I may need to seek out the official 12 yo and more indie Aultmore.

Rating: 86 points.

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