Thanks to /u/boyd86 for this sample. I think. Correct me if I’m wrong.
This is yet another continuation of my ongoing series that I’m calling “Scotch Malts, Wife’s Selection”, in which my wife goes through my backlog of SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society) samples that I haven’t reviewed yet, pours them blind, and then I review it blind.
Let’s talk about descriptions. Some of these I can imagine.
And then there’s Ardmore SMWS 66.90 “Steam train through a pharmacy”. I know what a steam train smells like. I don’t really know what a pharmacy smells like. Is it medicine? Do I only go to clean pharmacies that also have options to buy food or ship things through Canada Post? Well yes, as the old time pharmacy isn’t really a thing here anymore.
So what is this? Well, yes again, it’s a peated Ardmore, aged in an ex-bourbon cask, and it’s name sounds like the end result of setting up your pharmacy on the tracks to try and get “fast customers” which then ends in tragedy.
And that’s certainly not a story the Jedi would tell you. Because it’s silly.
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Date Distilled: March 2004
Age: 12 years
Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon barrel
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Mango mousse, almond flour, shredded wheat, mint, musty
Initial nose of tropical, sweet notes, mixed with some cereal/flour notes. I’m guessing they meant the smell of flour flying everywhere as the train comes through.
Or maybe the train was carrying flour. I see now.
Interesting nose. I’m not picking up a lot of peat aspects, which confuses me. A lot.
Taste: Pear, mint, cereal, coconut, cocoa
Still no train. Granted I haven’t licked a steam train, so perhaps they taste like coconut.
Earthy, stone fruit, and again tropical. The only hint of peat here is some cocoa that shows up late. Like a caboose. Simpler taste given the strength and single cask.
What do cabooses taste like? Or is the plural caboose? Or caboosen?
Finish: Apple, crackers, ginger, honey, cocoa
Finish is sweet, keeping with the cereal, sweet, and stone fruit elements. And yet again, the peat aspects is quite light, coming in the last couple cars.
Perhaps it went through the small baking section, next to the pickles. Or is that an old time deli only? I’m much too young to get the name.
Conclusion: Overall the malt has an interesting nose and then tastes like a standard 12 year old single malt out there. That’s not a total slag off on it, however I have to say that I’d be annoyed to buy a bottle of this and end up with the above.
The peat here has disappeared, enough that I honestly thought it was unpeated Ardmore (which exists).
So as I’ve said before: If you’re a big fan of the nose, or just cereal in general, this may be for you. It’s not bad, however the quality isn’t enough for the price premium in my opinion.
And my score doesn’t take price into account.
Guess: Some sort of unpeated Ardmore?
Actually: Ardmore SMWS 66.90 “Steam train through a pharmacy” (which was peated)
Scotch review #831, Speyside review #237, Whisky Network review #1342