Aultmore 5 years Douglas McGibbon (blind)

"A 5 year old single malt from the Speyside region and a real sherry bomb, a vital youth show its potency, but lacks a few years of maturation"

(Picture from Whiskybase)

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Aultmore might not be the most famous of the Speyside distilleries, but you find them more and more regularly among independent bottlers. The official range was given a welcome stimulation by its owners Dewars, which in turn are part of the Bacardi conglemerate, by releasing a 12-, 18-year-old distillery bottling, accompanied by the rarer 21- and 25-year-old editions. I believe that Aultmore releases among the independent bottlers can either be very close to the original spirit or true sherry bombs. The sample of today’s review belongs to the latter and is supprisingly young for the complexity it reached on the nose. Guessing blindly from which distillery this was coming from, was in quite a challenge, I must say.

Nose

No mistake here, we have got ourselves here some sherry cask influence liquid. Dried figs, walnut cake, sweet cherries, dark chocolate, currants, and lots of sweet sherry. I would say this feels rather young, but how young I find difficult to say with these kind of sherry monsters. There is a bitter edge (amaretto) and I do not get too much of the original spirit, after we are talking here about whisky (not sherry). Maybe some water could bring us some help. Better! Much more integrated with toffee, more liquors (cherry, plum), more different dried fruits. I think the cask (PX?) was quite good, I believe.

Taste

Very strong and bitter sweet. Juicy cherries, chocolate sauce, and walnut paste. Not too much more. Water, please! Very much into fruit liquors, cherry plum (again), amaretto (ok not a fruits, exactly), apricot. Chocolate filled with dried fruits. I think that’s it. Good, but not very complex.

Overall

These sherry bombs… well, I always find them slightly difficult to guess. The distillery characteristics remains fairly secretive behind a vast wall of sherry most of the times, as is the case here. This time I just went for the easy road and chose for a distillery closely associated with sweet sherry, Glenfarclas. What more can I say? I quite liked the nose, but I didn’t particularly like the palate. Too coarse, too sample, too uneven. Kind of a common problem for me with may of these young sherry bombs. I think I really prefer a few years of maturation, let’s say at least an added 10.

What others thought

Competition day #8

Aultmore 5 years

Whiskybase: 85.98 (42 votes) Contestants: 8.1/10

This sample was part of the

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
90%
Peat/smoke
5%
Nose 86%
Taste 81%
Balance 75%
Depth 78%
Finish 80%
Score