Last September the first official release of Ardnamurchan happened. And if you’ve never been to a whisky festival between 2017 and early 2020, you might have never tasted their spirit either.
It’s quite the anticipated distillery, since Adelphi, who runs/owns/built the place have quite the reputation for high quality whisky. They’re not doing anything unique though, they just approach the distilling business with quality front and center.
So, when batch 1 came out, I of course did a bottle share with it. And when batch 2 came out I did it again. As is customary for me, I still needed to give batch 1 a taste, six months after its release. So I did.
Ardnamurchan Inaugural Release, 5 years old, AD 09.20:01, 46.8%
I’m very surprised by the amount of oak and barley on the nose of this youngster! I was expected much more alcohol on the nose. Vanilla, slightly burnt sponge cake, sweet barley. It’s not very heavy, but it’s quite rich.
The palate is pretty smooth, with initially a bit of buttery fattiness. It quickly becomes a bit more dry and brings some bite. Black and white pepper, with dry oak shavings. Sponge cake, vanilla, browned butter. Some baking spices too, clove.
The finish brings more warmth than heat, and this is where the youth of the whisky comes through most. It’s a tad spirity all of a sudden, with more unaged spirit showing up in the flavor. Still dry and grainy, with hints of alcohol sweetness.
Ardnamurchan, 5 years old, AD 01.21.01, 46.8%
Slightly alcoholic, slightly burnt apple peels, a light whiff of oak. A hint of cork, dried apples, some cinnamon.
The pakate is quite sharp with white pepper. Apples, dried and fresh. Some oak, some spices. Oak spice, mostly. Dried peach. A second sip brings quite a bit of vanilla.
The finish is slightly more sweet, with more dried fruit and slightly less spice. A lot of apple, still.
At least they’re consistent! Technically the casks used in the whisky are similar, so consistency is what you more or less expect. Of course, that’s not a guarantee for anything!
I like that they whiskies are already quite complex and show some depth and character. What’s good too, is that the spirit comes through as well, so that an extra decade of maturation does not completely overpower it.
As far as I know the spirit is made to be quite robust, and that shows. There’s quite a bit of oomph, even though it’s just baby whisky at this point.
While it’s not going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, they are on to something and I am going to be quite happy keeping an eye out for further releases! Especially when cask strength things will start to happen.