Last April I finally participated in a Cadenhead’s Warehouse Tasting. These tastings are legendary among whisky lovers and somehow I had never done one, until three months ago that is.
You might have read my shameful post about accidentally blending scraps of the Glen Scotia and Glenlossie I bought there, which sucked majorly. Luckily that wasn’t all I got, since there also was this wee Ardmore.
Mitch, who hosted the tasting and is also coming to Maltstock, wanted to surprise us with this, but chalk letters on the side of the cask stating ‘Ardmore’ kind of spoiled that surprise. After giving us a dram and asking for a guess to the age, I felt something was up. People were guessing 15 and 16 years old, but I figured he was tricking us and I went down a lot, to nine years old. I was still more than 100% off (if calculated from the actual age. If done the other way around, I was more than 50% off). A four year old Ardmore was in our glass.
Everybody loved it. All five of us on the tasting. Especially at a bottle coming in at 40 pounds, this was a steal.
It’s sharp, but more like 52% than 57% sharp. There’s a whiff of vanilla and some good old Highland peat smoke coming through. Grass and hay, with custard for a bit of sweetness. Apple pie too, so I’m currently craving a proper apple crumble, or a strudel or something.
It’s slightly sharp on the arrival, but it mellows quickly to a more warming glow. It’s still quite spirity but I think the oak has been very active to have imparted this amount of wood, sweetness and vanilla on it in four years. Even though vanilla is one of the main contributors, it’s doesn’t distract from the spirit and the gorgeous smokiness in it.
On the finish it gets a bit more sooty, and there are more hints of charcoal and peat than before. So, more the remains of smoke than actual smoke. Slightly bacon like, maybe? Still vanilla and apple sauce, and oak.
Well this isn’t the new best thing ever, it is a very, very good whisky for a very decent price at a ridiculously young age. For forty quid, you can’t really go wrong with a nice Ardmore at cask strength. Even if it is only four years old.
Ardmore 2013-2018, 4yo, Bourbon Hogshead, 57.2%, Cadenhead’s Warehouse Tasting.