Interestingly, among the whisky geeks I know, these distillery labels by Gordon & MacPhail are not very popular. Being bottled at 43% doesn’t help, because it’s not cask strength. It’s not even 46%, which sits above the threshold for whisky going cloudy unless filtered.
It’s quite a shame, since I’ve had quite some very good whiskies from this series, with an older Glenburgie coming to mind, and now this Ardmore. Of course, it helps that I tend to like Ardmore anyway, especially when there’s not too much done to it. So, preferably no weird cask usage, or being matured in Islay casks or something strange like that.
So fairly straight forward Ardmore, with a decent age to it. At a somewhat lower ABV than I usually drink. Should be good, right?
It starts with some Bowmore-like smokiness. Some ammonia and lemon, smoke. After a few seconds there’s heather honey, some oak and the brown crust of a pound cake. Dried apple and brown sugar too.
The palate is very dry, which isn’t too uncommon with Ardmore, and smoky whisky in general. Lots of oak, lemon and smoke. Heather and honey, pine resin, pine cones. There’s a slight bitter edge to it, with that cake crust again, as well as brown sugar and some tobacco leaves.
The finish continues with the tobacco note and the smoke that goes with it. Heather and brown sugar, but without the honey sweetness. That slight bitter edge is present here too.
My father-in-law would instantly know this is a whisky I would like. It’s dry, slightly smoky, with lots of herbaceous notes. I find this stuff absolutely gorgeous. It’s a bit in the middle between Bowmore and Highland Park, in regard to flavor. Two of my favorite whiskies out there, and also why I love Ardmore in general.
Lovely and complex, with more than enough happening to keep me occupied. I tried this one months ago, and immediately ordered a bottle. Of course, with being very busy and me wanting to pick it up in person, it is still at the shop in Den Bosch (yes, Whiskykoning of course). I bought this to bottle-share it, but after re-reading the tasting notes I just might keep it all for myself!
89/100 (in doubt if it should be 90)