Over to Speyside for a 16 year old Aultmore that’s been aged in a refill ex-oloroso butt. Full term or finish – I’m not certain, but I’d guess at the latter. Sweet & Spicy profile.
Nose: Heady and aromatic. Heavily reduced spiced fruits with more than a hint of grape brandy and Armagnac going on. Toffee and caramel provide sweetness, whilst raisins, balsamic and sandalwood add depth. In the background some interesting nuances – rosehips, stem ginger and nutty biscuits. The addition of water is transformational – moving away from fruits towards roasted meats – a whole leg of honey roasted ham.
Taste: An oily arrival that’s packed full of well-spiced baked goods – pear cider, grappa and orange segments mix it up with brown sugars, flan bases, pepper, a touch of cumin and dry roasted nuts. Water once again moves things in a meaty fashion – beef stock and reduced-pan fats alongside buttery biscuit (base) and a slight sense of salinity.
Finish: Medium with drying spices, salted peanuts and underlying maltiness.
An impactful Aultmore that has plenty of bold flavours on arrival and reacts favourably to a few drops of dilution. Perhaps too dry and spicy for some, but the oloroso influence has certainly added additional depths to explore here.