Our final offering comes from the ever-reliable Ardmore. This month’s example a 12 year old drawn from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead.
Nose: Freshly caught fish together with bouillabaisse and hearty seafood stock. Mossiness and pickled onion quickly develop into a profound farmyard aroma – waterlogged hay, pig sties and outright manure (this is a big much – even for me). Barns and sea bird guano persist, together with ozone, goldfish tanks, felt roofing and BBQ briquettes. Water offers a less farmy, but still ‘moist’ composition with wet dog fur, ferns, bracken and stagnant pond water. Hmmm – this will divide the crowd.
Taste: Big, fat, sharp and somewhat less perverse than the nose. Lime margaritas are joined by tarred roofing and roasted meat juices. In the background a sharp and chiselled minerality from limestone and preserved lemons is joined by overt wood smoke and fireplace embers. Dilution offers air-dried Serrano ham together with lemon peels and cask-led pepperiness.
Finish: Short to medium with candied lime peels and smouldering log fire.
This Ardmore is not going to appeal to everyone. The nose in particular is exceedingly farm-based with notes of either silage or water-spoilage running through. The palate is more expected of this spirit and offers a pleasing combination of meatiness, oiliness and sharp and tart fruit. Some folks are going to enjoy this more than I do - others less so. It's extreme in parts, anticipated in others. Eitherway - you have been forewarned.
But don't take our word for it..
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