Here we have an Aultmore from 1974. The one official bottling in the Rare Malts range was also from 1974. Three years ago Douglas Laing bottled a 1974, and even more recently, two bottlings from The Whisky Agency saw the light of day. There is one more by Adelphi, but more about that one later.
Aultmore was founded in 1896 by Alexander Edward who also founded the Craigellachie distillery with Peter Machie in 1891. In 1896, Mr. Edward also owned the Benrinnes distillery. Mr. Edward sold Aultmore to John Dewar’s and Sons in 1923. John Dewar’s and Sons naturally became part of what is today Diageo, but Diageo sold the whole of John Dewar’s and Sons to Bacardi in 1998. Aultmore was built with two stills and two more stills were added in 1971, so this 1974 Aultmore was already made with four stills.
Color: Full gold
Nose: Estery and full. Seems sweet and has a perfect woody touch. Powdery with vanilla, but also some vegetal sourness creeps in, but only in whiffs, it’s not always there. Malty freshness, and the slightest hint of cow-dung, great! This kind of organics in Whisky is the best, look at all those fantastic Brora’s. I really like the complete profile this nose shows me. A great, but toned down or laid back Whisky. It doesn’t shout from rooftops it’s great, but whispers. People who know, will hear it’s call.
Taste: Woody cannabis, and in this case that’s very nice. Sugary sweet, but the “wood” is the taste giver of this malt. Mind you this is not a woody malt. It’s like somehow there is some fruit in here but it isn’t allowed to get out. Medium, slightly disappointing finish, and probably the reduction could have been skipped, since the Whisky shows some laziness. Could have been fuller, if so I’m shure it would have scored in the 90’s. Nevertheless a great Whisky!
One of my favorite Aultmore’s is also from 1974, a bottling by Adelphi, Cask #3739, yes a sister cask! That one yielded only 101 bottles @ 49.6% ABV. Cask #3740 yielded 264 bottles reduced to 46%, so I’m guessing this was a lot higher in ABV (I can’t imagine Adelphi doing a cask share, but you never know). If memory serves me well, this sister cask also has a lot of yellow fruits, cask #3740 lacks. I have a bottle of Adelphi’s 1974 Aultmore, so in the future, that one will be reviewed on these pages too…
Thanks go out to Dirk for handing me this sample some time ago…