Hopefully by now we’ve established that Cadenhead’s are the best independent bottler on the planet? No marketing nonsense – unless you call releasing whisky at a decent price a marketing tactic. No fancy labels. No gimmicks. Just simple, brilliant whisky, every month. In fact, I actually managed to nip up to the store in Edinburgh not too long ago to look at their delights, as normally London is my nearest store, and somehow I managed to come away without spending too much. (It had a lot to do with the fact that I hand hand-luggage only on my flight, so wouldn’t have been able to take anything back with me.)
Also, I seem to have reviewed quite a lot of Aultmore whiskies to date, and each time I’ve been impressed with the consistent quality of the distillery. It is a secret favourite of mine and, indeed, hopefully I’ll be able to taste some very interesting Aultmore releases in the not-too distant future. Generally Aultmore releases occupy somewhere different on the flavour spectrum: not peaty, not usually dense and sherried, not even briny and oily. You usually find a light grassy elegance about its whiskies. Though Aultmore spirit is highly sought after by blenders, it isn’t by single malt drinkers, which means I can usually stumble away with a bargain. (That said, the official releases of Aultmore do tend to lean on the pricy side for older whiskies.)
So I like Cadenhead’s. I like Aultmore. This should be pretty straightforward. Here’s the data: this bottle was distilled in 1997, bottled in 2016, aged for 19 years in a bourbon hogshead. Bottled at 53.1% – one of 186 – it cost me £65 or thereabouts.
Cadenhead’s Aultmore Aged 19 Years Review
Colour: pale gold.
On the nose: fantastically sweet. Tinned fruit salad: pineapples and melon in particular, with a ton of vanilla. Green apples. Slight grassiness. Creamy after a while. Toffee fudge. There’s not a diverse range of flavours, but it is very intense and focussed. Also: very Aultmore.
In the mouth: this is one of the sweetest-tasting whiskies I’ve had in ages. A Crunchie bar. Golden syrup, light floral honey, toffee, again that grassiness coming into play, but dominated by the lovely fruity sweet notes. Mint chocolate chip ice cream. Rose’s Lime marmalade. Black pepper on the finish. At times it reminds me of a properly ancient, 30-40 year old grain whisky, though the core texture is much less dense.
Just another awesome whisky from Cadenhead’s, a company that is pretty much the sole reason I’ve not renewed my membership to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. It’s both a good example of Aultmore, but also something unusually sweet in a whisky. I suspect for newcomers to single cask whiskies, this might not be a bad step given its all-round approachability.