SMWS 66.139 Deerstalkers and hillwalkers

Posted 28 February 2019 by Matt / In Ardmore
The Dramble reviews SMWS 66.139 Deerstalkers and hillwalkers

Bottle Name: 66.139 Deerstalkers and hillwalkers

ABV: 59.5%
Distillery: Ardmore
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Flavour Profile: Lightly peated
Region: Highlands Age: 12

Ardmore is a regularly of nearly every Society outturn – this bottling hails from 2006 and has been matured in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead for 12 years. View on SMWS

Nose: Plenty of vegetation with hay, fern, bracken, mosses and even some fish tank. Peat is delicate, but certainly perceptible - forest fires, coal dust and slight tar. There’s more than a hint of farmyard here with barns, haylofts and a good slap of cream cheese. In the background – crackerbread, tree sap and burnt soils. Reduction adds meatiness with a roasted lamb shoulder and animal feed (verging on silage, but not quite in that ballpark). It also emphases some light crystalline minerals. 

Taste: Bolder on the arrival with a ton of farmyard flavours – gruyere, dried grass, silage, damp cellars, barns and pig sties. Gorse and bracken add some earthy vegetation whilst sweetness is derived from toffee, grapes and gooseberries. Smoke presents as seared meats and ashy burning hay with a slight touch of rubberiness. The addition of water reveals industrial flavours – oils and greases with menthol and eucalyptus.

Finish: Medium to long in length with a fading medicinal edge. Still very farmy with earthiness from clay and muddy fields.

There’s a wonderful balance to this slightly perverse Ardmore. Everything marries together well and feels perfectly in place with a good length of development. This style of whisky is likely not going to be for everyone – but, if you like things a little farmy, do check this out. For my money, it’s the best 66 I’ve tasted in a while.

Score: 87/100


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