What is it? Scotch has been built on economic cycles and there’s no doubt we are currently in one with more distilleries requesting planning permission or coming online. Aultmore, though, was built back in the blending boom of the 1890s along with Balvenie, Longmorn and Glen Moray. Founded in 1895, Aultmore’s history really started in 1923 when the distillery was sold to John Dewar & Sons. Completely rebuilt in 1971, today the “Big Burn” (Aultmore’s name in Gaelic references its water source, the Burn of Auchinderran) continues to play an important role in Dewar’s blend as a top-dressing malt.
How does is taste? Aultmore launched its single malts in 2014, and the 18 Years Old has a natural colour and a nose that immediately provides pear drops, custard, straw, lemon, biscuits, melon, fresh peach and subtle herbal notes that will appeal to many new to Speyside malts. I feel this whisky benefits from a drop of water to open the nose further. Summer fruits and biscuits continue on the palate with candied orange and herbs evident, delivered with an oily texture that leads to a dry, malty, citrusy and light sultana finish. Imagine Auchentoshan uprooted from the Lowlands, distilled twice, then matured predominately in American oak, and you wouldn’t be far off from Aultmore.