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Aultmore is one of those lesser known Speysiders that sends most of its production to the blended Scotch market, in this case most notably to the Dewar folks. It has a reputation as being an oaky whisky; it lived up to its billing.
Color: Pale Gold/Primrose ("Natural Colour")
Nose: Perfumed and estery with a fruity backbone (mixed berries); grassy notes develop with time as does an emerging oak presence.
Palate: The full on barley surge was unexpected from such a light dram. Mid-palate there is a nice interplay between light syrup and buzzing spices before quickly drying and giving way to the arrival of bittering oak.
Finish: Dry with oak bitterness the major player. Note: a bit of water helps tone down the oak.
Normally I don't have a problem with a big oak presence in most malts; it just seems that the lightness of this malt is simply overwhelmed. Still, the barley opening is very enjoyable.