Speyside’s Secret Little Blending Powerhouse
It is officially summer of 2022 and my photo may be a tad bit misleading. It took me about 4 months to get to this review and for good reason.
After I kicked the majority of my last Clynelish 14 bottle, this became my new warm-up dram. It was malty, had delicate floral notes, and came with an incredibly similar mouth feel to Clynelish. Seemed fitting to use it as such.
I tasted initially with no resting time and two drops of water were added. Just as an extreme test to see if there were any changes in aroma or flavor, I left a dram out overnight, capped. Natural white wine, pale straw in color. A quick shake test revealed very large bubbles that quickly dissipated.
Going to get this aroma note right out of the way. There is an astringent, metallic alcohol vapor to this that is not pleasant at all. When left out overnight, it was entirely gone. Probably need to let this rest a fair bit as it’s the only detractor I experienced with this bottle.
On the nose, there’s a very sweet and fruity scent. Orange zest, sultanas, apple cider, and pear skin. A rather grassy and herbal note as well. Hay, river grasses, raw white asparagus, and snow peas. Rice cereal, and bran flakes. There’s an ale-like maltiness to it, with a bitter pint scent. Mossy bricks, and rain-soaked concrete sidewalks. Some peppercorn and cardamom spices. Those malt and fruit aromas remind me a lot of Clynelish but it’s missing the bread and yeast notes.
The palate has a really nice bitter profile. Edible flowers and honeysuckle sweetness. A tad overdone caramel confectionery decoration. It’s sweet and bitter all with the same sip teetering back and forth with that bitterness building from the back of the palate. Salad greens, parsnips. Malted milk balls. White peaches. Slightly over-toasted cinnamon and clove. That barrel char influence builds with a light tobacco note.
The finish is oaky and malty. It’s a damp campfire log and the tannins are more than I expected in a 7-year-old whisky. Dark chocolate, cocoa powder. Very much still in that grassy green section of a flavor wheel. Raw vegetables and bitter salad greens. Some of the floral notes are more prominent on the finish too. I keep wanting to say there’s a honey-like sweetness but it’s more of a raw honeycomb flavor and texture. There’s a distinct waxy consistency left on your tongue after you sip and it’s really amazing. More tobacco, cigar humidor flavors, and a touch of salinity that finishes quite nicely.
I didn’t intend for this review of a ~$50 whisky to be so wordy, but I really enjoy it. The simple, malty, and herbaceous character ticks all the right boxes for me. The bitter profile with that tinge of salinity balances this out really well. Sweet, salty, bitter, and balanced.
This is an excellent whisky that suits my purposes of a warm-up dram well. While it’s not going to win any awards, I have certainly been turned on to Aultmore.