It’s been over eight years since we have had the opportunity to put a single malt from the Aultmore distillery on our shelves and the wait was worth it! Here we have one of the best single cask, cask strength offerings that we have tasted at an exceptional price. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of Aultmore; you are definitely not alone. However this is no fly by night distillery, because it actually began operations back in 1896. Since then it has been full steam ahead, producing richly textured malt whisky for blenders, most noticeably John Dewar & Sons.
Chapter 7 Aultmore 9 Year Old Single Cask Single Malt Being a distillery that is used primarily for blending, there was never a need to market Aultmore, however canny independent bottlers have been hunting down stray casks for many years as the whisky is exceptional. Selim Evin, the man behind Chapter 7 Independent Bottlers, sourced this ex-bourbon cask, which he then had finished in a first fill Oloroso sherry cask. The result is a malt that has layers of flavor on the nose and on the palate. Classic Aultmore notes of white chocolate and milky coffee emerge from the glass along with a little fruit and cinnamon spice. The sweet malt notes cover the tongue and the vanilla, white chocolate, and fruit cake notes begin to emerge, leading into a nice clean finish. A drop or two of water really brings out the powdered sugar and the almond paste notes, which makes for a very more-ish dram. There is a lot to love about this whisky, whether it be that this is a new distillery for most people, or that it is from a single cask (meaning no chill-filtration or added E150 caramel color) or that it tastes downright delicious and is a steal right now. Sixty bottles might seem like a lot now but I doubt it will last!
Chapter 7 Alt-a-Bhainne 9 Year Old Single Cask Single Malt In our continuing quest to find unique single malts at great prices, we stumbled upon this nifty little cask from the Chapter 7 folks and one taste later we knew we had to bring it in. This is another superb whisky that literally sings in the glass without hurting your wallet. Alt-a- Bhainne is similar to distilleries like Aultmore, Glenallachie and Mannochmore in that it is relatively unknown to most Scotch drinkers, with production destined for blends and not the single malt market. However opportunities to purchase casks do come up from time to time and Selim Evin of Chapter 7 Independent Bottlers bagged a superb one. This is another classic Speysider, fresh as a daisy with summer flowers, vanilla, and cocoa emerging from the nose while the palate has light orchard fruits, boiled sweets, caramel, and sweet oak notes tapering off into a nice clean finish. It is exceptionally drinkable even at cask strength and clearly demonstrates where the value lies in good single malts!
~ Denis Lynch, Vine & Table Spirits Buyer