So there’s my wife, after a weekend of debauchery in Las Vegas (seeing shows and fun events), tired out of her skull, after playing video poker for hours, lack of sleep and lack of food, trying to find anything on my list of whisky to bring back from the states.
And the Airport has none of it. So she’s running about, trying, in her sweet way, to remember anything I babble on about whisky, trying not to mix it up with anything I babble on about Pathfinder, she decided to go for the highest Abv that wasn’t Balvenie 21 Portwood (not spending $300) or Ardbeg Uigendail (which I love, but have had quite a bit of, and she knows I like trying new things).
So she picks up…. Ardmore Traditional Cask. Yup, the same one I swapped /u/muaddib99 for (Thanks again man!). And thus, while she would normally not want me to open up a bottle when I have so many open, she asked me to break my Campbeltown streak (because hell, I can’t even spell it correctly half the time) and try out a sample of what she bought me.
So, this lightly peated malt is the first official single malt from Ardmore distillery. It’s young, however it’s double matured, first in ex-bourbon casks, and then finished in quarter casks to finish it up. It’s also non-chill filtered. Finally the distillery is owned by our fun friends at Beam-Suntory.
Why haven’t we heard of it before? Because it was created to be the main malt in Teacher’s Highland Cream, yet given the amount of awards this has garnered, I’d say it’s better off by itself.
Cue music of “All by myself”.
Let’s see how this experiment worked out? And if my wife should have posted to /r/scotch like she had planned at 11pm at night.
Price: N/A in LCBO at the moment
Colour: Amber Honey
Nose: Peat, heather, lemon sorbet, honey, ginger, molasses
At first the peat and heather really dominates.
By the way, when I say heather, I don’t mean some woman I know named Heather, and this smells like her down-under, I mean the flower, heather.
Anyway, it’s quite sweet, reminds me of baked goods with a lot of honey in them.
Taste: Peat, mushroom, lemon peel, candy, nutmeg, curry
So the peat dominates the majority of the taste. And by Peat, I don’t mean some guy named Pete and what his yogurt sauce tastes like, I mean the vegetation.
After awhile it goes to this slightly spicy flavour. Simple, yet nice to sip on.
Finish: Peat, coconut, cayenne, coal, light fennel, pepper, almond milk
Notice a pattern yet? Because there’s mostly peat and coconut in the finish when I start out, and it doesn’t really evolve too much from there. It has some earthy, spicy notes, and a little creamy/nutty (still not talking about Pete) flavour, yet nothing making me gag (still not talking about Pete).
So that’s a plus.
Conclusion: “Gee TOModera, are you trying to be positive only because you now have 1L of this and your wife busted her ass (not in that way) to find it?” Why thank you for the question, cynical voice in my head.
Alright, it’s not the most amazing dram on the planet. That said, I don’t think it’s bad either. It’s a lightly peated Speyside whisky. It’s sweet, has some earthiness to it to avoid being too sweet or peaty, and while not overtly complex, was a nice dram to sit back and sip. It hit the right notes for me (sweet, peat, little earth, and spicy).
I’d say this would be my go-to, everyday dram if I had one. If you can find it, there’s a lot worse out there, and you’ll be happy with the result, especially for the price.
Scotch review #206, Speyside review #60, Whisky network review #302
1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #156