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Aultmore 12 Year Old

Average score from 2 reviews and 11 ratings 84

Aultmore 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Aultmore
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Aultmore 12 Year Old

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Aultmore was once found mostly in the blended whiskies of John Dewar & Sons (Dewar's White Label, Dewar's 12 Year Old, Dewar's 18 Year Old). It was rarely enjoyed on its own.

A glance at the bottle of Aultmore 12 reveals the following text:

A secluded site once known for smugglers and illicit stills, the FOGGIE MOSS, conceals our water's source and filters it through gorse and heather, purifying it to the profit of AULTMORE'S refined character. Our malted barley has no hint of peat smoke, ensuring the smoothest, cleanest taste. This rarest of SPEYSIDE classics has been distilled in handmade copper pot stills since 1897, yet for over a century it was only sold in limited editions aimed at collectors. Sometimes a sly taste of AULTMORE could be found in a few local bars, but only if you knew to ask for "a nip of the Buckie Road."

Evocative prose, indeed. You would be forgiven for thinking the distillery looked like something right out of Outlander.

The Aultmore distillery doesn't offer tours. It was re-built in 1971 with a more functional goal in mind; producing a consistent, reliable product to serve as a workhorse in Dewar & Sons' blends. So much for romanticism.

Tasting Notes

I have to say I was thrilled to see this bottled at a respectable 46% ABV, not chill-filtered and left at its natural colour. These may seem like little, inconsequential details, but those little details provide a very favourable first impression to this enthusiast.

  • Nose (undiluted): this is a classic Speyside, light and floral with some green fruit notes (pears, green apples, green grapes), there's a touch of light, floral vanilla, but it's balanced by a clean (albeit brief) citrus note. Lemon and lime. It's not a bruiser like Laphroaig or Octomore, but it's very well-balanced.

  • Palate (undiluted): slightly sharp arrival, medium-bodied and creamy, with more pear and green grape notes, there's a hint of cereal (barley) sweetness, but it's subdued and doesn't dominate.

  • Finish: clean, medium length finish, with a slightly drying astringency, there's a bit of lingering floral honey-sweetness at the very end which makes this very easy to sip.

Adding water opens up the flavour, but tones down the fruitiness of the nose a bit. The bouquet becomes more floral and the water allows the sweetness of the malted barley to come forward a bit. The sharp citrus notes are subdued when drinking Aultmore diluted and the vanilla and floral notes are more prominent. I prefered it neat, as it's bottled at 46% ABV, right in my sweet spot (anywhere from 45% to 50% ABV). This whisky is subtle, but very well-balanced. "Clean" is the word that keeps coming to mind. There are no "off" or "stray" notes. This may be a positive or negative, depending on your perspective. It's not incredibly complex, but what Aultmore does, it does very well. If you only appreciate big, bold and complex whiskies, you may find Aultmore 12 worthy of the derision that gave rise to its detractors' pet name for it; AultSNORE. I disagree. It's nice to have something in the vault that isn't a punch in the mouth. It doesn't differ much in price from Glenmorangie 10, it has a similar profile, but I'll take Aultmore over the basic Glenmorangie (which I happen to enjoy) any day.

@MadSingleMalt Agree, agree, agree. Let's see, Aultmore 12: 46%, non-chillfiltered, natural colour, quite tasty vs Glenmo 10: 40%, chill-filtered, E150A colorant, pretty non-descript. No contest. Excellent review @OdysseusUnbound. On this one you and I agree 100%.

@Nozinan The next time I pass through New Brunswick I will drop the remainder of this bottle off to Jason. I was not a fan from the beginning to now, many months open.


Nose: grassy with hints of aniseed. Sweeter notes lurking beneath; candied ginger?

Taste: rich, oily body. Sweet with licorice and tropical fruits. Then a massive surge of oak. Wonderful, lip-smacking stuff.

Finish: a touch of sourness, but not enough to make things unpleasant. Long and oaky with echoes of malty sweetness.

Balance: I really love this whisky. It is a true full-bodied Speyside with enough flavour to make you reconsider your stance on the malts of this region. Needs a splash of water to really reveal itself. It truly is a no-frills kind of whisky: pale in colour, pure in flavour, with no peat or cask finishes to mask its malty character. A real malt-lover's dram.

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