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Friday, June 9, 2023

Aultmore 9 year old 2008 Sovereign, cask HL13138 for K&L

After this week's two DCL-era Aultmores, all I'm able to offer you is a review of a contemporary Aultmore, a 9-year-old single sherry cask that butts in at 59.8%abv, with a color as dark or darker than those two elders. Back in 2018 it was offered exclusively by K&L Wine Merchants for the very reasonable sum of $55. Those days are far behind us all.

Distillery: Aultmore
Owner: Bacardi Limited (via John Dewar & Sons)
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Bottler: Hunter Laing
Range: The Sovereign
Age: 9 years old (June 2008 - Aug 2017)
Maturation: Sherry butt
Cask #: HL13138
Outturn: 631 bottles
Exclusive to: K&L Wine Merchants
Alcohol by Volume: 59.8%
(from a bottle split)


It has a vibrant nose, full of raspberry candy, orange peel, apricot jam, and A LOT of alcohol. Minor notes of flowers and metal develop with time. The palate brings the heat as well, but it's also sort of bourbony, with a mix of cherry jam, cinnamon candy, and honey. Maybe a few apricots too. The hot finish leans more towards cherries and nectarines, sweet and tangy.

I'm going to be careful with this youngling at first...

DILUTED to ~50%abv, or 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Yep, oloroso cask-aged bourbon on the nose: vanilla, maple, walnuts, and raspberries. Though one can find hints of apple jam and bitter citrus, the palate is so woody. Charred lumber and extreme tannins. It finishes with apple peels and tannins.

Maybe a little more water will help.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1¾ tsp of water per 30mL cask strength whisky

A whole new nose of flowers, pears, prunes, and mint. Meanwhile the palate is all bitter oak and unripe pears, and the finish is sour and tannic.


Keep this one neat as dilution wrecks the palate. I like the strange bourbon-like style that this Aultmore shows at full strength, especially since it's a fruity bourbon style. In fact, I like this whisky a little more than Wednesday's 30yo! It's too hot and oaky for it to be a regular drinker for me, but it's more enjoyable than many officially-bottled NAS cask strength sherried things from more popular distilleries.

For other takes, see the reviews by Whisky Musings and Whiskey Jug. At least we three can agree the price was right.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - $55
Rating - 83 (neat only)

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