Thanks to /u/shane_il for the sample.
Been meaning to get to this one for awhile. Especially with all of the IB Ardmore’s I’ve been having and my love of their old method of peating being a nice dedication to how they used to be.
Ardmore 12 Port Wood Finish was added in 2015 as part of the core range. Why? Probably because of the amount of people going literally insane for peat and port mixed together. I’m using literally there in the way that writers have used for over a century, so blame Mary Shelly on that one.
Is this fully matured in ex-port pipes? No! First it was put into ex-bourbon for 12 years, and then finished in half port pipes. Which I assume are like half pipes in snowboarding. But you shouldn’t. You should know they are smaller ones that allow for more wood contact and quicker aging.
So it’s a port finished whisky. And unlike the Legacy, this is peated. So let’s see how a Highland doing the peat port wombo combo works, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 5YR 6/12
Nose: Cocoa, cloves, potato/dirt, menthol
Earth centric peat on this one. Interesting that they’ve been able to pull out that cocoa note that typically takes other peated whisky quite awhile.
That said, the additional earth on this one eventually rises up to fight for proletariat… I mean becomes a little bit too much. There’s some nice spice that compliments it, though earth adverse bourgeoisie need not apply.
Taste: Floral, brine, cool mint, anise, oak
Interesting that this goes for the port aspect of floral. Honestly more surprising how much cool mint there is, enjoyed in my many parlors while wondering what is to come of the middle class.
This is more spices having fun, which I enjoy. Each is different enough, and the oak rounds it all out.
Finish: Cool mint, earth, musty, pine, cinnamon
Finish is more cool mint, more of the spice, and an odd musty/pine note. This may still be too young for some, however the cool mint is my gum of choice, so I’m enjoying it.
Conclusion: Lots of light, cool mint and floral notes. It goes to some different places than other peat/port combinations, which for some will be refreshing as a revolution, and for others as annoying as a revolution.
Overall I loved the mint aspects. The nose needs some work, and the finish shows some young aspects, even at 12 years. That all said, this is quite unique, and worth grabbing a dram of.
Scotch review #795, Speyside review #225, Whisky Network review #1302