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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Aultmore 30 year old 1989 Single Cask Nation, cask 2459

Designed by the fellow who built Craigellachie, and originally run by Oban's owners, Aultmore has since passed through relatively few hands. John Dewar & Sons bought Aultmore on the distillery's 25th birthday in 1923. Dewar & Sons was then purchased by Distillers Company Limited, which later became United Distillers and Diageo. When Diageo had to sell off some of its holdings in 1998, the Dewar's portfolio found a buyer in Bacardi Limited.

On Monday, I tried an Aultmore distilled by Distillers Company Limited, and it was excellent. So, here's another one from that era, also matured in a sherry cask, bottled by J&J of Single Cask Nation. It's one of the oldest whiskies SCN has offered so far, and comes in at a zippy 57.1%abv.

Distillery: Aultmore
Owner at time of distillation: Distillers Company Limited
Current Owner: Bacardi Limited (via John Dewar & Sons)
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Bottler: Single Cask Nation
Age: 30 years old (June 1989 - Nov 2019)
Maturation: first fill sherry butt
Cask #: 2459
Outturn: 465 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 57.1%
(from a bottle split)


The nose has dark chocolate and dried cherries. Walnuts and smoked fish. Sort of meaty too. The palate arrives hot, very salty, and a little sulfury. It's earthy and leafy, with a hint of tart limes. It finishes a little brighter at first, with grapefruits, raspberries, and salt. Then it darkens with wood smoke and sulfur.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or < 1½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose reads cleaner now, mostly a variety of dried berries, with milk chocolate in the middle, and the flints in the far back. Less sulfur in the palate, too. Salty and peppery, with mild bitterness. Some toasted almonds and simple syrup in the background. The finish holds onto the grapefruit note, and gains a sweet date or two. Bitter oak rumbles in the back.


Though this one reads even smokier and earthier than Monday's 35yo, I don't think that's due to the spirit. I think it's sulfur, which isn't a dealbreaker for me because I often enjoy dirty casks. Here the 'S' word doesn't dominate, in fact I like how it plays out in the nose. Dilution washes it nearly away, but oak creeps into the palate and finish at 46%abv.

The "medicinal, tart, herbal, and intense" character found in Monday's Aultmore has been mostly silenced by the cask. This 30yo's intensity comes from the heat and oak. I wonder what this cask was like 5-10 years earlier.

For a different take on this whisky, the Whiskybase reviewers seem to adore this thing, though the sample size is small.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 82