Aultmore Whisky Distillery & Story
Aultmore whisky distillery is located on the eastern fringe of the Speyside whisky region in the Scottish Highlands.
Situated about three miles north of the town of Keith .
Aultmore (ault-moor) means “Big Burn” in Gaelic the water source Burn of Auchinderran.
The area around Aultmore has always been remote and sparsely populated, hence it was a thriving location of many smugglers’ bothies, and there existed a thriving illicit stills community. The numerous burns and the peaty springs of the Foggie Moss provided the water, and the publicans in Keith were willing customers.
Although not all the smugglers were men and one of the better-known operators selling ‘small-still’ whisky was a woman called Jane Milne.
Aultmore malt whisky has a typical Speyside style of Delicate fruitiness with spices and a touch of oiled wood.
How the Aultmore story began
Whisky entrepreneur Alexander Edwards also of Benrinnes, Craigallichie and Dallas Dhu Fame, established the distillery in 1895.
Opening in 1896 the distillery went well immediately – so much so that extensions were built just two years later and production was doubled.
Alexander Edwards bought Oban distillery in the same year and made the two distilleries into a single limited company, the Oban & Aultmore-Glenlivet Distillers Ltd.
However the Pattison crash of December 1898 was just around the corner. The crash badly affected the company, as both the Aultmore and Oban distilleries had been large suppliers of bulk whisky to Pattison.
Production continued at Aultmore but the period was difficult.
The bankruptcy of Pattison had led to a surplus of Speyside Malt whisky on the market; Combined with prohibition in America and the 1920s depression also took their toll.
Finally the distillery was sold for £20,000 (£1.02 million today’s value) to John Dewar & Sons Ltd of Perth in 1923.
Two years later Dewar’s merges into Distillers Company Ltd (DCL).
Ownership then passed to Scottish Malt Distillers in 1930 as part of DCL.
During 1971 the distillery was rebuilt and a second pair of stills was added to the original pair.
In 1986 DCL is taken over by Guiness & Co merging the following year with Arthur Bell & Sons to form United Distillers (UD).
UD releases a 12 year old Aultmore single malt whisky into the Flora & Fauna label range in 1991.
In 1996 a cask strength 21 year old Aultmore is released as a Rare Malt Selection.
The following year Guinness along with UD merged with Grand Metropolitan to create Diageo.
A new “Dewar’s” Aultmore 12 year old is released in 2004.
In 2014 Dewar’s launch the “Last Great Malts” range including a 12, 25 year old single malts. Plus a 21 year old for the duty free market.
The following year an 18 year old single malt joins the portfolio.
Aultmore malt whisky is a long time contributor to Dewar’s blends.
The Aultmore Whisky Distillery
Founded 1895 by Alexander Edwards.
Location; Speyside Region. Isla District
Water Source; Auchinderran Burn.
Aultmore Whisky Distillery Equipment;
10 ton Steinecker full lauter mash tun.
6 Siberian larch washbacks. Fermentation time 56 hours.
2 pairs of pot Stills.
Working 7 Days a week, producing 16 mashes per week, resulting in 2.8 million litres of alcohol.
Matured in American Oak Bourbon Casks, refill hogsheads and sherry butts.