A little information about myself: my parents met overseas while serving in the USAF. Consequently, I was born in a small Spanish bedroom-community just outside of Madrid. My parents divorced shortly after and I moved to England with my mother. A few months after that, we landed in Indiana, so by the time her service ended and she finally decided to settle down with family back in Connecticut, I was no stranger to air travel. My father stayed in the service for most of his career, which gave me lots of opportunities to get back on that plane and visit whatever corner of the world he was touring. Some of my fondest memories were of being alone in an airport, surrounded by strangers and weird 80’s art installations. The noise, the bustling, the unusual accents and languages, the change in scenery and never having to take your shoes off for security… it was all very romantic to me.
This single malt brings me back to those days. It reminds me of the way airplanes used to smell. A cocktail of chemicals, polyester, gin and smoke. That might not sound like a very traditional whisky, and it surely isn’t. Unless you grew up flying unattended minor you may not find it as nostalgic as I do, but this is really good stuff.
Nose: Juniper. Chewing pen tubes on airplanes and plastic kiddie wings. Lime Rickeys and cranberry juice. Buttered pasta with cardamom. Kiwi sherbet muddled with mint. Crunchy, packaged chocolate chip cookies. Salvaged barn board with bath salts. Just a touch of waxed leather and old library books.
Palate: This one has a little gin in the first sips but the smoke and old books chase that out pretty quickly before getting hot and spicy. Melon liqueur, bay leaf and lemon malt. Waxy finish with allspice, cassia cinnamon, chocolate chips and the soot from an extinguished candle flame.
Most of Aultmore’s production gets swallowed up by blenders like Dewar’s, their parent company, but every now and then a bottling with extremely noble karma breaks the cycle and makes it into something much nicer, like this. Cheers to the chaps at Master of Malt for the sample!