Thanks to /u/devoz for the sample.
I have many spreadsheets about whisky.
I know, be still your beating heart. Stick with me here.
One of them was made when one of my fellow whisky nerds asked me if I kept track of all the distilleries I have and have not had whisky from. I created it, realized it would be a giant pain to make the same thing for bourbon, and was happy with it.
I then made the mistake/brag-move of sharing it with other whisky nerds, who proceeded to be shocked and appalled by the reviews I have not made.
Enter Devoz, who you may have noticed recently reviewed some Aultmores. Quite a few older ones.
I, on the other hand, haven’t had the opportunity to have an Aultmore yet. And he shared one with me.
Aultmore Darkness! 16 Oloroso is an independent bottling of Aultmore that was first aged in ex-bourbon casks, and then finished in a special made, 50 litre cask that had previously held Oloroso sherry. This is first fill as well, and due to the small size they only left it in there for 3 months.
Given the colour, that seems like a good enough time.
The Darkness series has had many iterations, and they are sold through Master of Malt.
So, without knowing anything about Aultmore, let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 7.5YR 6/10
Nose: Mint, caramel, grapes, raisin, anise, honey
It’s all Oloroso. I’ll cut to the chase on the nose here: It smells like a sherry. Takes a long, long time to pick out the whisky parts. I spent a long time just nosing this, as I had “Mint” written down and “grapes” for quite awhile.
If you like sherry, this nose is for you. You might even pick up some whisky to aid it!
Taste: Mint, anise, cherry, cranberry
Good amount of spice, and red fruits. Wood is evident. Nothing too insane.
So far I’m wondering if Aultmore has a mint flavour to it, because the sherry has dominated here.
Finish: Strawberry, pizza dough, pepper, anise, vegetal
Finish has some yeast elements and a big vegetal note. Gone is the overabundance of sherry and replacing it is what I’d say is an Irish whiskey finish.
Which is odd, to say the least. Good amount of spice still. The sherry is balanced in the finish, though there’s a little bit too much earth.
Conclusion: So that was odd. I’m guessing that my dive into Aultmore is going to be different than this one. I would say that maybe they should have done two months of sherry casking instead of three.
It’s very sherry heavy. I don’t get a whisky in this. Maybe the mint, but beyond that it took a long, long time to pull it all apart.
Nice dram, but I think I’ll stick to more whisky tasting whisky.
Scotch review #582, Speyside review #180, Whisky Network review #973