Here is the fourth of five minis I purchased from Cadenhead’s shop in London in early May. They were all from their early 2017 outturn, I believe. I have previously reviewed the Pulteney 11, 2006, the Balmenach 12, 2004 and the Glen Spey 15, 2001: in order of increasing age, and I liked them pretty much in that order. If the pattern holds I should like this Aultmore 19 even more than I did the Glen Spey—which will be good as none of the others got me very excited. I’ve had and reviewed very few Aultmores before this but have liked the others—including the official 12 yo. My hopes are therefore high on that count as well.
(I seem to have unaccountably not taken a separate picture of this mini before opening it, drinking the contents and throwing the bottle away, but, if you hold up a magnifying glass and squint, you can see it right behind the Glen Spey.)
Aultmore 19, 1997 (54.2%; Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection; from a purchased mini)
Nose: A tart start with green apples, gooseberries, a bit of white wine vinegar; after a couple of beats it develops a malty core and the acid is mixed with some salt. With more time it gets a little rooty and there’s some mint in there too. With a bit of water there’s a big hit of citronella and the rooty quality is gone.
Palate: Starts out much sweeter with pear and some raspberry and the malt. The acid’s here too but it’s more restrained. Nice texture. Maltier as it sits and sweeter/juicier. More integrated with water.
Finish: Medium. Gets a little spicy towards the end. With time the fruit hangs out longer on the finish as well. Water lengthens the finish and pushes the spicy notes back a bit.
Comments: Another good summery malt, fresh and bright. One to sip on the deck as the sun goes down. Not much complexity for a 19 yo but quite good on its own terms. Good with and without water. And, yes, I liked it a bit more than the Glen Spey. This might suggest that I’ll like the remaining fifth and oldest one of these the most. It is a Fettercairn though…
Rating: 85 points.