Ardmore 8, 2011-2020, Rum Barrel Finish, 59% – King Cask

It’s not overly complicated to get me enthusiastic about whisky. That’s true in general, but for some distilleries it’s a bit more than usual. Ardmore is one of those distilleries, especially if not too much weirdness has been done to the spirit. Finishing an already peated whisky in a Laphroaig cask, or something like that always makes me a bit apprehensive.

Image from Whiskybase

Anyway, Joris Dam of Dam Dranken and King Cask bottled this Ardmore a couple of years ago, before King Cask was on my radar. I did get to try a sample of it, which is a good thing.

It’s a youngster at only 8 years old, and has been finished in a rum barrel for seven months. After that time it was bottled at 59% ABV.

This having the Thalassa label indicates that this one was matured at sea as well. Dynamically aged, as they call it. Actually, it was the first one they did like that.

The coarse malt-forwardness, that is typical for Ardmore, is definitely there. But, with a sweeter note too. Some tropical fruits like mango, papaya with some golden syrup. A tiny whiff of smoke.

The sweetness and the smoky note arrive first. Rather treacle-y with molasses and tropical fruit. Mango, papaya, sweet peat smoke, barley, grist. Slightly dusty, with a bit of peppery heat.

The finish is less sweet, rather long and less coarse too. Surprisingly smooth, so to say

A fine whisky that does the thing it says on the label. The rum is noticeable but hasn’t made the whisky too sweet. It could have done with a bit more time in the cask for complexity, although I understand this being bottled at this level as well. And it’s hard to find a shit Ardmore…



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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