I’ve only reviewed three Aultmores prior to this one, all in 2017 (here, here and here). I’d love to say that 2020 will be the year when I get my Aultmore review count into the double digits but there’s not very much Aultmore out there to be reviewed—very little that’s available in the US at any rate. A pity, as I’ve liked all the (few) Aultmores I’ve tried, even if none have gotten me very excited. Will this—the oldest I’ve yet tried, from the reliable indie outfit, Maltbarn—be the one that gets me very excited? I certainly hope it won’t be the one that I don’t like at all. Let’s see.
Aultmore 21, 1997 (50.7%; Maltbarn; bourbon cask; from a bottle split)
Nose: Fruity ex-bourbon goodness with apple cider, pear and lemon. On the second sniff there’s some malt and a slightly grassy note along with a bit of candle wax and a touch of white pepper. The fruit gets muskier as it sits (pineapple). With a few drops of water there’s a sweet floral note to go with the pineapple.
Palate: The tart notes lead here but this is essentially as promised by the nose. Starts getting sweeter as I swallow (simple syrup). Nice texture and very drinkable at full strength. With each sip there’s greater balance between the tart fruit, the sweet notes, and the malt. Water integrates everything even more fully.
Finish: Long. The sweeter fruit transitions slowly to acid (lemon peel) and the whole gets quite tingly as it goes ending on some bitter apple peels. Remains acidic here with water.
Comments: This is lovely bourbon cask whisky. Fruity and grassy and malty. Not sexy but excellent. Wish I had a full bottle. And, yes, it’s my favourite Aultmore so far.
Rating: 88 points.