Ardmore 18, 2003-2021, Sherry Cask, 51.9% – Maltbarn

According to some, Maltbarn is one of the best bottlers of the moment. There are others in the higher echelons, of course, but Maltbarn is up there too.

This Ardmore, which I bought when it came out some time ago, was quite expensive, and that caused not too many samples to be sold. The argument ’18 year old Ardmore was half this price just a few years ago’, while true, doesn’t really hold any water. Mostly because all whisky is a lot more expensive nowadays, and to be honest, I gladly pay a little bit more to not buy a deception and just go for quality.

Image from Whiskybase

Let’s just hope statements like that aren’t used to increase the price of a nice bottle even more by some…

The sherry is rather timid with quite a bit of dried fruit, with the plum stone and almond bitterness. On top of that there’s a slightly acidic smokiness with hints of wet hay and heather. Some milk chocolate in the background.

A slight bite with a fruity bitterness. Star fruit, but also date paste. A bit of an acrid smokiness, hay, heather, dry oak and treebark. The dark biscuits of Oreos.

The finish has a dry bite, and a gentle fruitiness. Dark, dried fruits, but not overpowering. Very well balanced with oak and spices.

Hugely complex, with lots of flavors waiting to be discovered. None of them are fighting for attention and that makes this a rather old fashioned and mature whisky.

Ardmore has quickly become a favorite distillery over the last couple of years. There have been so many great bottlings over the last few years, most of which I still need to review, but I’m thoroughly loving them. This is one of them, and I’m glad I finally sat down for a proper tasting with this one!


This one is still available from Whiskybase for € 195


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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