Each year I am brought out to The Feathers Pub, Toronto for my birthday. Some years multiple times. This year, just once, and that’s okay by me. Too much of a good thing and that.
Speyside whiskies are never something I plan to pick myself at my yearly whisky tasting. My wife loves to pick out mysteries, loves to see me struggle with them, and sometimes even picks one I should be able to figure out.
Thus I ended up with Ardmore 21 1979 Old Malt Cask Douglas Laing as my mystery. For those of you who were following my recent mystery drams, Ardmore shows up the second most in the pack. Thus she thought, since it’s my birthday, I should try another and maybe have a chance to pick it.
Of course she doesn’t say that.
Ardmore, for me, has been the Speyside peat whisky to look for. If you can’t order from an Island and want some smoke, then you order an Ardmore. And while I’m sad that Legacy includes some less peated Ardmore in it, I’m glad they are still making peated whisky.
So we start with peat. Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: No longer available
Cask Number: DL 266
Number of Bottles: 648
Colour: 10Y 9/6
Nose: Key lime juice, lemongrass, floral chocolate, onion rings
Big flavours on the nose. Each one is easily picked out. And no, no one is eating onion rings near me, least of all me.
Big flavours. Some unctuousness, some sweet. If the last whisky was unbalanced, a certain level of fried food balances it out.
Taste: Peach pie, wine gum, mint chocolate cake, caramel
Taste is sweet, though the peated element mixed with a grassy/cereal element gives you cake elements.
Any citrus has gone either to stone fruit or a wine gum type of taste. It’s not super sweet, with earth balancing this out.
Finish: Burnt caramel, lime zest, lemongrass, smoked apples
Again, big flavours, each coming up beyond the next, pushing for their turn in line. It’s not blending into one another.
Conclusion: A bourbon drinkers Scotch. This is extremely fun to drink. Wonderful flavours. If some one in Kentucky moved to Scotland and was told to make an old, peated whisky, this is what he/she would make.
Nice citrus throughout. Good big flavours. A great level of complexity. Nothing out of left field too much, and proof that old peat can really make a good whisky.
I had no idea what this was, because I’m dim. I’ll try and make up for that in the future.
Guess: Some sort of IB Macallan that’s been peated?
Actually: Ardmore 21 1979 Old Malt Cask Douglas Laing
Scotch review #826, Speyside review #235, Whisky Network review #1337