There’s a few bottlers out there that get me all excited when a new release is announced. I guess the main two of those are WhiskyNerds and Wu Dram Clan. And yes, they are both doing more or less the same thing, with the same approach to whisky, so that’s not overly surprising.
But, with these two bottlers you can (for now…) guarantee they only bottle booze that they think is amazing. There’s no level of ‘we just happened to own these casks, so we bottled them’, which seems to be a thing with many of their competitors.
When they already got me excited for a new release, and it also turns out to be a properly aged Ardmore, I twice as giddy. Ardmore is one of those distilleries that everyone ignored a decade or so ago, but they have been gaining momentum over the last couple of years. Interestingly, and as with some other distilleries, you have to look at independent bottlers for the interesting stuff. There are official Ardmores, but I can’t remember when anyone cared about those.
So, this one, at 24 years old!
This is quite a multi layered start to the dram! Apart from there being a mild sweetness, it also has a more green aroma. Reine claude/greengage jam, moss, dry heather. A slightly sandy aroma too. There’s definitely oak on the nose as well, but no dry sharpness. Very mellow and very nuanced. The very light smoky note is dark and sooty, with a hint of engine oil too.
The palate arrives very gently, but does bring the lightest hint of a white pepper bite. Warm oak, flaky pastry, slightly burnt caramel. Greengage jam again, with hints of moss and freshly cut grass. The green tufts on top of strawberries. It’s quite syrupy, with a hint of oily smoke. Olive oil, instead of engine oil now.
The finish shows a little bit more of the smoky notes that were there earlier. Still quite oily, but I can’t decide between olive oil and engine oil. So, both, then! A green fruitiness, with greengage, strawberry leaves, a little bit of baked apple peel.
As expected, this is a rather complex dram. I would have been very surprised if this was some smoke forward belter that operates on just one or two layers. There’s a fruity side, it never ignores its ingredients and origin, and the smoke has mutated in that strange, oily thing that’s present throughout. Absolutely epic.
Now, where to get € 300 from, because I want one.