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Aultmore Distillery
Picture: Aultmore
Location: Keith, Banffshire
Roads: On A96 at turn-off to Buckie, B9016
Hours: Visitors welcome by appointment
Phone: 01542-882762

Text from The Whisky Trails, Copyright © Gordon Brown 1993:

This was one of the ventures of whisky entrepreneur Alexander Edward (see Benrinnes, Dallas Dhu, et al). The area around Aultmore has always been remote and sparsely populated, hence it was a thriving location of many smugglers’ bothies. The numerous burns and the peat of the Foggie Moss were additional incentives to distil on the spot. Even today, Aultmore distillery is solitary in the landscape despite Keith’s being only 2.5 miles distant. Not all smugglers were men and one of the better-known operators selling ‘small-still’ whisky to publicans in the surrounding towns was a woman called Jane Milne.

There is an old steam engine on display which supplied the distillery’s power round the clock; to do so it was kept in continuous daily operation – except for repair and servicing periods – for the best part of 70 years. Whenever the engine was temporarily out of action the waterwheel, turned by lade-flow from a dam and which had previously supplied all power requirements, stood in.

The distillery was built in 1896 and did well immediately – so much so that extensions were built just two years later and production was doubled. Edward bought Oban distillery in the same year and made the two plants into a single limited company. The Pattison crash affected Edward both by Oban’s having been a big supplier to them and also by the market’s becoming flooded with Speyside malt whisky for the next few years. World War I, Prohibition in the US and the 1920s Depression finally brought about a sell-out to Dewar’s of Perth, now a subsidiary of present owners, United Distillers. A second pair of stills was added to the original pair during the 1971 rebuilding work.

The Whisky
Text from The Whisky Trails, Copyright © Gordon Brown 1993:

Aultmore is fresh and sweet with an edge of pleasantly astringent fruit and faint smoke. It is officially released at 12 years old and 43% vol., for the moment the only form in which it is available.

Source of water
Auchinderran Burn
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