Aultmore is the 2nd new distillery released under the Last Great Malts lineup from Bacardi. After Craigellachie, here comes another, almost anonymous, Speyside distillery with totally new lineup ranging from 12yo to 25yo.
AULTMORE has been producing malt whisky since 1897, yet little is known about this obscure distillery. Often cloaked in thick fog and exuding an air of mystery, the sparsely populated land surrounding its site has always felt somewhat isolated. The distillery sits in the sweeping hills of Moray, just north of the town of Keith on the rolling road to Buckie.
It was built by Alexander Edward, close to curious terrain called the Foggie Moss. This enigmatic area, well known for illicit distillation in days gone by, is home to Aultmore’s water source. Damp, atmospheric conditions prevail here and the water, filtered through the gorse and heather that abounds, is crucial to the whisky’s light, clear character.
I tasted a few Aultmores, mostly from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and loved them, but most of their production used to go for blends as it provides a light, grassy and sweet speyside profile which blenders seems to like, so let’s see how the OB are performing and we’ll start with the entry level one, the Aultmore 12 Year old.
Nose: Light, fresh, sweet honey from wild flowers, grassy, some almonds milk, delicate and fresh. A real nice nose.
Palate: Light sweet honey, sweet apples and fudge toffee, greenery and grapefruits, not as sweet as felt on the nose and just as we turn to the finish, oak wood spices. Overall it’s light and delicate balanced by the heavy sweet apples notes.
Finish: Medium length with fizzy grapefruits and sweet fruits juice, lingering green spices and white mild pepper.
Thoughts: It’s a real nice entry level whisky which showcase the distillery profile. It’s delicate and light, boasting grassy, herbal and sweet notes. No wonder blenders like it and that whisky aficionados flocked to the independent bottling out there. I would issue a buy recommendation but there’s only one issue with this whisky and it’s not the liquid itself but its pricing.
Although I found a webshop that sells it for £41.95, it’s a special web price and all other UK shops that sells it online do so for £50 which I assume is the RRP price. £50 for 12 yo OB aged in ex-bourbon casks? Most entry level 10-12 yo are priced at £30-£35 and the jump here is worrying me. A lot. I do hope it’s not foretelling us the near future where £40-£50 is the new price range for entry level whiskies. At least not for a little while…
Update (13/1/2015): I’ve been notified that Aultmore 12 can be found in NL for around 41-40 Euros and that price makes more sense. Still a bit high but more inline with the others in that age range. I’ve added a link above to NL shop that sells it. Slainte!
(Official sample from Bacardi)