Ardmore 21, 1997-2019, Bourbon Hogshead 901456, 49.4% – Whisky-Doris

Lately I’ve been becoming a bigger and bigger Ardmore fan, I realize. I’ve always liked peated whisky but I often find, after years of trying shitloads of drams, that the more gently smoked whiskies offer greater depth and complexity and a properly aged Ardmore fits that category nicely.

What also helps to make it stand out is that it’s a different kind of peated-ness than Islay. A difference between inland peat, or coastal peat, so to say.

So, when I was at Whiskybase some months ago and I saw this one on the shelf, it stood out because of the label. Upon further inspection it turned out to be an Ardmore and a 21 year old at that. I didn’t have to decide for long until it ended up on the counter.

Image from Whiskybase

And now, about half a year later, it was time to finish the bottle. I’ve used it in a tasting and shared it with some friends in a more casual setting. High time to write a review and empty it, so to say!

Sniff:
A gentle smoke of hay and moss. Very green in it’s smokiness. There’s also heather and honey. Some apples and a whiff of chalky white wine.

Sip:
A rich palate with hay and earthiness, heather, honey and pinecones. Forest floor, dried moss, some peat smoke. Barley and oak.

Swallow:
The finish is dry and sweet. Earthy with flavors of decay in all the right ways. Dead pine needles on a wet forest floor. Moss, heather, honey sweetness.

This is exactly what I hope to find in an Ardmore. A peated whisky without the seaweed, the salinity or the medicinal notes that are more common in Islay whiskies. Here it’s slightly more woody, mossy and heathery, and that’s great.

I love that the cask hasn’t been too influential on the whisky and the rather clean spirit of Ardmore still comes through nicely. A highlight!

90/100

Available at Whiskybase for € 160

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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