Ardnamurchan AD/04:21, Paul Launois Release, 57.6%

With me trying to get my bearing and reshuffling priorities between working in an actual office, and not spending a coffee break writing a blog post, being back from a short trip to Scotland and spending some evenings with the misses, a guest post makes an appearance once more. Again, by Tom van Engelen, who is starting to become quite the ‘new distillery expert’ with his fanaticism in collecting all the first releases that have been popping up over the last couple of years.

Ardnamurchan with a golden edge

Image from Whiskybase

Paul Launois is, apparently, a Champagne. I haven’t been paying much attention to that. But anyway, a wine finish in a way, so it can go either way. Ardnamurchan has already proven to produce a tremendous spirit. Doing well on the regular releases, so I’m curious to see what Paul Launois brings to the table.

This one was tasted next to the AD 04.21.03 (third release) Ardnamurchan.

A very interesting layer of glue covering the more regular fresh grainy character. Complex. After some breathing time the idea of a bouquet of flowers arises. The “Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Barrique Finish” sure adds a nice value.

It feels like a more traditional exotically finished whisky. Not unlike a Madeira finish for instance. A nice and juicy, but also a tad bitter arrival. Then a sour note that introduces the finish.

A sour exit that lingers in a gentle way. Rather fizzy, very French. It’s hard to believe this has such a high ABV. Very smooth.

A most impressive balance. The Paul Launois finish sure feels like a keeper for future releases. No weird off-notes. I wonder what this will do to a regular aged 10 year old Ardnamurchan.  


Currently, this one is available in the primary and secondary market with wildly varying prices. All the way from € 165 to € 480 (£400)

About Tom van Engelen

I’m a writer in a variety of fields and have a soft spot for whisky, mainly malt, mainly from Scotland. In other times I enjoyed a stint as editor-in-chief of one of the first whisky magazines in the world. When not sipping a good glass I like to write some more, read, watch 007 movies or listen Bowie music. I’m engaged to Dasha, I have a sweet daughter and I live somewhere between the big rivers in the middle of The Netherlands.


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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