Walking down a modern whiskey isle is to be seduced by luxurious names: Nadurra, Founder’s Reserve and Superstition, all whisper of far off glens and one-of-a-kind pleasures. Gone are the days when whiskey was labelled only with the distiller and the age of the spirit.
To be fair, this traditional lack of guidance could be daunting to the would-be whiskey drinker, who didn’t know his Auchentoshan from his Ardbeg. In fact, it could be argued that the recent marriage of makers and marketers has created more (and more adventurous) whiskey drinkers than ever before.
There is one whiskey, however, whose mystery needs no marketing genius to grant it allure: Aultmore.
Founded in 1896, and long hailed as elusive, the Aultmore’s fame comes not only from the foggy moss of the glen in which it is crafted, but from the scarcity of its offerings. The distillery was closed shortly after opening, as fashions changed. It reopened again, only to be shut down during the First World War. Still, Aultmore persevered. Today, it is a thriving distillery with over 100 years of excellence, but with only a handful of offerings ever offered to the public.
This historical scarcity has only intensified the mystique surrounding the spirit. In reality, the mystery is only a matter of practicality: Aultmore makes a superior base for more than a handful of world-class blended whiskeys. According to global marketing manager Stephen Marshall, “Aultmore is…one of the easiest drinking drams around.” It’s just not that easy to find. That is, until recently: John DeWar & Sons Ltd. has released three expressions of the Aultmore in its “Last Great Malts” range.
The 12 Year, with gentle grassy notes and a honey gleam in the glass, confirms its position as strong representative of the Speyside spirits. £54 ($65)
The 21 year is steeped in orchard, both fruit and bark mingle in the dram, with warm undertones.
And the 25 year – a deep amber sipper, with enough hints of chocolate, dried fruit and malt to delight in suave style. £375 ($435)
The Aultmore 12 and 25 year offerings, in keeping with the distillery’s tradition of mystery, will be available in limited quantities in just 10 countries. The 21 year is even more elusive, as a single year Travel Retail exclusive.