Aultmore is one of those Speyside distilleries that were mainly seen through the independent bottling prism. If we now know a stocked official alternative (12, 18, 21 and 25 years old), we here get the occasion to try out a cask strength itemization…
Nose : We immediately feel that the fruits will be coated in a good dose of sugar. We have apples, but also cherries and flowers (pansies). We then find some vanilla, a bit of chestnut cream and malt. It doesn’t lack finesse, but the sugar tends to cover up the frank smells. We’re pretty convinced by the profile and by the (creamy) presence at nose though. Some vegetal notes then come little by little (spinach sprout, cut grass) and offers a bit of change. It remains too sweet, but it’s fairly interesting. Water doesn’t grant more freedom to the aromas, except for a few pop-corn fragrances.
Mouth : We have a nice power and a beautiful amplitude with a bit too much alcohol (but adding water should fix that). We still have a sugar overbid but the apple becomes pretty precise (between juice and stew) with some malt, while a hint of bitterness appears (grass). We also find some black pepper and clementine zests in the second part of the mouth. The apple remains on the foreground but it lacks bareness to fully put the fruit at the heart of the tasting. Indeed, the sugar neutralizes the subtlety.
Water surely calms the alcohol strength, but we stay on a sweet formula with some apple, some malt and some vanilla. We lose a bit of bitterness which still makes it easily drinkable.
Finish : The finish is long and well carried on bitter herbs whereas the apple and the sugar compensate a bit for the bitterness. The apple and the mandarine zest are still in the game. The aftertaste oscillates between apple and malt.