To recap: /u/xile_ (his real name, really) had us all over for a mystery lineup. I brought brownies. That’s really not useful to the review. Well, I didn’t have them until the whiskies were done, and drank tons of water between each dram. Maybe that’s useful. Oh, and all of the whiskies were poured blind. xile_ bet I’d get two right. I showed him and got none right. That’ll show him.
If you follow my reviews, first off, thank you. I appreciate it. Disagree, agree, whatever, I just like to read comments back on these and what you like and dislike about them.
Secondly, you’ll have read about many other Ardmores I’ve reviewed in the past. You’ll know that I like them as I enjoy both peated whiskies and young peated whiskies, and most Ardmore fits in that description.
So what’s different about Ardmore 7 2009 Archives? Well, it is a young peated Ardmore, and it is an IB. So this should be the same old same old, right?
That’s where you’re wrong, bucko. See this one was aged solely in an ex-Laphroaig barrel. Yeah, that Laphroaig, the one from Islay that makes the peated whisky (you know, as opposed to the non-peated whiskies from Islay? Get it together TOModera).
That was sarcasm if you missed it. None the less, we have a peated dram aged in an ex-peated barrel. And the peat on Islay is different than the peat in Speyside. So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Type: Ex-Laphroaig Barrel
Cask Number: 709301
Number of bottles: 249
Colour: 2.5GY 9/4
Nose: Olives, caramel, ginger, stout, grass
The nose has this vinegar, brine-like quality to it. Bunch of caramel, chocolate, some floral notes, and some grassiness.
Overall I’m completely lost here. It’s both earthy and brine based, yet there’s some peat. I can’t nail down where it’s from.
Taste: Butter, toffee, mango, chocolate, lime gelatin
Alright, we have more butter and toffee on the taste. Lots of chocolate still, and some tropical notes. All in all, it’s less brine based than before.
Water brings out more lime with some sugar to it. For me, that’s like a lime gelatin product, as it’s hard to separate them. Think cocktail with lots of sugar in it maybe.
Finish: Ginger, ash, lime zest, malt, chocolate, caramel, peat, grass
Long. Hugh finish. Lots of earth, more lime. Reminds me of a Caol Ila at the end, but really powerful one that also has a bunch of earth going on.
It’s a lot of flavours to unpack. Will you enjoy it? Do you like chocolate, and perhaps mojitos, but made with whisky? Don’t know? Well, try to learn something about yourself like a teen searching the Internet late at night.
Conclusion: I am having a hard time getting past the initial brine, mixed with the overall earth elements here. The finish is like a Caol Ila, though is brighter, so I struck that out. I’m thinking maybe there was a nice first fill sherry cask Laphroaig out there that added all the fruit.
Granted you’ve read the title and know that’s incorrect. This takes the earth elements of a peated non-Islay whisky and mixes those with brine, well-developed chocolate, and interesting sweet notes of Laphroaig.
Frankly, it drinks more like an older Laphroaig at the end of the day. If that’s what you enjoy, this is a no-brainer.
Guess: 14-16 years old, ex-Sherry, Laphroaig
Actually: Ardmore 7 2009 Archives
Scotch review #972, Speyside review #268, Whisky Network review #1529