Another month – another Ardmore. September’s is a 10 year old drawn from a refill ex-bourbon barrel.
Nose: Savoury and quite smoky. Liquid tar, bitumen and burnt out engines sit with smouldering leaves, melted rubber and felt roofing. There’s a sweetness here – partly from smoked, fatty meats – party from the underlying fruitiness of the distillate. Reduction adds an alluvial aspect with clay and putty joined by damp moss and bracken.
Taste: Much ashier now – burnt ends, hearth fires and coal dust alongside beef gravy, hot cracked soil and tree bark. Lemon zest joins chilli peppers whilst sugar-coated lime is rimmed around a margarita glass. Water adds coastalness (strangely) with cracked rocks, granite outcropping and a twist of salty seasoning.
Finish: Medium to long and packed full of ash – fireplaces, spent beach fire and quartz minerality.
I’ve always got time for the Society’s 66s and this month’s is a near perfect example of Ardmore’s characterful inland, vegetal peat style. It’s highly savoury, wonderfully balanced, and when reduced, packed full of chiselled coastalness. Great stuff. Joint pick of the month.Score: 87/100