Ardmore 21, 1998-2019, Bourbon Hogshead 750802, 51.7% – A.D. Rattray

Image from Whiskybase

I guess I must admit, at least to myself, that I am an Ardmore fan. Over the last couple of years, I’ve gone through quite a few bottles and even when I don’t buy anything for a little while I have a hard time holding back when a new independent release comes by.

The lightly peated Highland whisky just ticks my boxes. It tends to have a dry and malty character, with a bit of smoke. I like that it’s the heathery non-Islay smoke too. Unfortunately, I’ve never visited the place yet, but I guess that is something that can be remedied at some point in time.

So, a sample of this came by somewhere. I don’t remember where since it has been some time since I tried it, and even longer since I got it. However, it’s likely that someone from my bottle sharing club had it available a year or two ago.

Light on the nose, with some ashy scents. A light aroma of barley, some coastal salinity, and a hint of vanilla. An earthy smokiness, but not too intense.

The palate is quite hot with white pepper and chilli pepper. A lot of light flavors of oak, barley, smoke, marram grass, dry soil, peat, straw.

The finish is a tad richer with some note of vanilla that wasn’t there before. The heat is toned down, but otherwise the finish shows the same notes as the palate did.

It’s interesting that barley seems to lose some richness when it gets smoked. At least, when Ardmore or distilleries like Highland Park are concerned. Having said that, I do like that far dryer character that is achieved by that.

This one is a fairly classic Ardmore, although the palate was surprisingly hot for the ABV and the age of the whisky. That does hold it down in regard to my rating, but it’s still quite nice.


Still available in Italy for about € 130


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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