Aultmore 12

I reviewed a SMWS Aultmore 18 a month or so ago and quite liked it. Accordingly, I’d planned to purchase a bottle of the OB 12 yo on my return to the US. But I ended up picking up a bottle from Royal Mile Whiskies here in London instead. I needed a mild, bourbon cask whisky for my cheese/whisky pairing experiments and it seemed like a good idea to kill two birds with one stone. It turns out to be one of those malts that’s actually cheaper in parts of the US than in the UK—I paid £48 for it here in London. On the other hand, it’s actually available in London but not in Minnesota, so I don’t care too much. Well, you might remember that it turned out to be the most versatile of the malts I attempted to pair with various cheeses—but what is it like when not being paired with cheese? Here is my answer to that question. (By the way, if you know what the Foggie Moss bit on the label is about, please write in: as usual I’m too lazy to look it up.) 

Aultmore 12 (46%; from my own bottle)

Nose: Tart apples and malt to start; after a bit the sourness moves in a yeasty/bready direction and some sweeter, floral notes emerge from below as well. With more time the sweeter notes take center stage and it’s all appley again now. Maltier still with water.

Palate: A little bitter to start, with apple peels and lime zest. Very nice mouthfeel. Waxier on the second sip and a little saltier too. Gets maltier as it goes. With water it gets a bit grassy and there’s more of a simple syrup-style sweetness.

Finish: Long. The lime zest is the main note at first but then the salt picks up here as well. With water there’s some oak and spice.

Comments: This is really very good, unadorned malt whisky. There may not be any fireworks here but there are also no flaws. A very good casual sipper; I preferred it neat.

Rating: 84 points.

2 thoughts on “Aultmore 12

  1. I have this on my radar but did not buy it yet. It’s part of Bacardi/John Dewar’s effort in the last 3 years to highlight their single malts. They put forth new releases at various ages of Royal Brackla, Craigallachie, Macduff, and Aberfeldy, in addition to the Aultmore.

    What I found *very* interesting, is their decision to play the field with respect to the target market: the Aultmore is non-colored, NCF, at 46%, whereas Macduff, Royal Brackla, and Aberfeldy are presented generally at 40% and with a fake tan. Craigellachie is at 46% but I’m not sure about the NCF/NC situation. This is in contrast, for example, with Burn Stewart, that releases all their single malts for whisky fans, 46%/NCF/NC. I’ll get a bottle of the Aultmore when I have a chance. To me, the decision on presentation not only directly affects the whisky, but it’s also telling about what the blender wanted to achieve in the choice of casks and final profile, and it’s a pretty good indicator of how much I’ll enjoy the whisky.


    • I bought a bottle while in Europe, and I love it! My notes are consistent with yours, I love the interplay of bitter and fruity flavors, the rich mouthfeel, and especially the cleanliness of flavor – I’m quite sensitive to caramel to the point that it’s a deal breaker. It reminds me a lot of the 2014 version of the Inchmurrin 12yo that they put out in the clear bottle, caramel free, which I also loved. (The current Inchmurrin 12yo has a tan).

      By the way, Foggie Moss is apparently the name of the place around the distillery, where the water source flows through, evoking times when they were distilling illicitly etc etc etc.


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