16 year old Aultmore drawn form a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel.
Nose: Pronounced baby powder with lavender and cut flower stems. Scrumpy cider apples and honeydew melon sit with old oranges, ginger and cumin. A peculiar combination. The addition of water sadly tips things over the edge into soapiness – Daz washing powder and fir cones alongside some unlocked ex-bourbon in the form of vanilla, and sappy planed oak.
Taste: Opening on banana bread, tart grapefruit and citrus peels before moving into fresh floral – gorse flower, buttercup and lavender. Biscuit crumb and vanilla pods are joined by crumbled chocolate, white pepper and cloves. Reduction adds additional sweetness with nougat and melon alongside some residue nuttiness – chopped cashews.
Finish: Medium with chocolate, potpourri and dry nuttiness.
This Aultmore is far too close to soapiness for comfort and doesn’t respond consistently to dilution – improving the palate, but diminishing the nose. The characteristics I’d expect from this spirit at this age are not present in this particular cask. It begs the question whether another year or two of maturation might have improved things? I’m going to suggest not. Sadly this cask just seems to be second-rate. Shame.