The near obligatory monthly Ardmore – but, this time served up at a notably higher age. 20 years in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead. View on SMWS
Nose: Sweet, grassy and delicately smoked – heathery and mossy peat sits with wild honey and rolled pastry. Running throughout – umami and industrial aromas – spring onions, chicken pot pie alongside engine oil, axle grease and wafting vaporous coal smoke. Dilution introduces salinity, liquorice and cashew nuttiness.
Taste: Richer and sweeter with smouldering heather fields sitting with smoked orchard fruits. Coal dust develops into ashiness before moving towards grapefruit tartness and eucalyptus oil. The addition of water adds salinity and beach shingles alongside burnt driftwood and Black Jack liquorice chews.
Finish: Quite long with smoked chocolate and freshly brewed espresso fading into citric tartness.
This Ardmore is relatively straight-forward and undemanding, but at the same time, refined and quite cohesive. There’s an excellent integration of spirit and cask which has, after two decades, taken on an elegant balance of delicacy and power. Recommended.
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