Aultmore (John & Robt. Harvey & Co, 1950s)

Aultmore (John & Robt. Harvey & Co, 1950s)

We go back in time quite far. This Aultmore Finest Highland Malt appears to be a NAS bottling, although the exact same bottle exists with a neck label that says 8 years old. Maybe the neck label fell off? When I took a picture of the bottle, I specifically photographed a blue stamp that says HCC 6 R but I’m not sure what it means.

Around 1973 Aultmore distillery was sold by SMD / DCL to United Distillers (later Diageo). I believe this bottling was done by the old owners. It was bottled for John & Robert Harvey, perhaps the oldest whisky business in Glasgow, and the company that started Bruichladdich. Harvey’s became a subsidiary of DCL but the name was still used as a licensee of Aultmore until the early 1980s. Around that time a 12 year old became the benchmark bottling for this distillery.


Aultmore – Finest Highland Malt (43%, OB for John & Robt. Harvey & Co., late 1950s)

Nose: whisky from yesteryear. Hints of yellow apples, with floral touches and subtle herbs. Crushed mint leaves. A typical dusty side as well, evolving to shoe polish and light waxy notes. Vegetal oil. Not sure how much of this comes down to OBE, but it’s a fairly elegant drop that combines Highlands power with a certain subtlety and refinement.

Mouth: much bigger now than you’d expect. Sweet mint, alongside sweetened herbal tea and hints of beer mash. Also mineral notes, drops of liquorice and aniseed. The herbs really add some punch to an otherwise rather low ABV. A little pepper and perhaps traces of mentholated peat as well.

Finish: medium length, a little toffee sweetness appears alongside the lingering herbs and mineral notes.

This may not be a bottle with a particular historic value. Even today Aultmore is still a bit of an overlooked distillery. That said, this bottling has more to say than you’d think at first sight. A very nice experience.