Google SMWS Ardmore Old And New

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

June 10, 2017





Angus's Corner
From our casual Scottish correspondent
and guest taster Angus MacRaild
SMWS Ardmore:
Old And New
Ardmore is such a funny distillery. There are many excellent bottlings if you dig around but still it remains steadfastly unloved by the wider whisky nerdsphere. It’s a curious one considering the fact it is probably one of mainland Scotland’s more characterful distillates.


Ardmore 12 yo 2003/2016 (61.4%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #66.88, ‘Smoky, spiky sangria’, exclusive to Queen Street, 204 bottles) Ardmore 12 yo 2003/2016 (61.4%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #66.88, ‘Smoky, spiky sangria’, exclusive to Queen Street, 204 bottles) Colour: Pale gold. Nose: Definitely smoky and curiously milky as well. Little notes of tequila reposado and clay alongside some nice farmyard earthiness, soot, olive oil, wax and a deft green fruitiness. There ain’t too many distillates like Ardmore still around it has to be said. With water: more coal, clay, earth and soot - a real coal hearth of a dram. Some interesting spicy notes including ground red peppercorns and chilli. Mouth: Cactus! More smoked agave, zingy mezcal notes, spice, bitters and some nice olive oil notes which add an odd but pleasingly almost slimy texture to the palate. Develops with notes of leavened bread, brown ale and other various autolytic yeasty notes. With water: More farmyard qualities emerge, damp straw, smoked grains and something like a good German rauchbier. Finish: Long and oily with more wax, soot and notes of graphite and something slightly muddy/earthy - little glimmers of fruit poking through. Comments: It’s a good, solid Ardmore that shows this is still a distillery with real character in the distillate. Not the best Ardmore ever but very far from boring and certainly entertaining. Would be a lot of fun poured blind. SGP: 366 - 85 points.   


Ardmore 20 yo 1985/2005 (54.8%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #66.16, ‘A bountiful dram’)

Ardmore 20 yo 1985/2005 (54.8%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, #66.16, ‘A bountiful dram’) Colour: Young Sauternes. Nose: A log shed, next to a coal shed, with a peat fire in the next garden. It’s quite amazing how Ardmore can combine the aromas of peat and farmyard in a totally idiosyncratic way which is different to Brora or old Glen Garioch. Gets down and dirty with coal embers, soot, wood ash, bonfire smoke, BBQ sauce and some earthy and waxy notes. A proper Highland malt whisky in the traditional sense. Some little touches of heather, honey and ale, perhaps a McEwan’s 80 shilling (it’s a beer Serge, you’d love it, I’ll bring you a keg for D Day this year). With time becomes a little fruitier and more herbal with notes of lychee, gorse, sage and a tart gooseberry note. With water: more sage, rosemary, BBQ smoke, sack cloth and some nice citrus and slightly mineral notes. Mouth: The peatiness in this is surprisingly pronounced, on a par with say a mid-aged Talisker. More earthiness, farmyard notes, a stable and barn rolled into one with some fruity notes of tangerine and Earl Grey tea. A big oiliness, olive oil and motor oil mixed with some natural tar liqueur and dried herbs. With water: a perfect balance of lemon oils and skins, cow sheds (not that I eat many right enough), a delicate ashiness and some nice white stone fruits all wrapped up in a gentle peatiness. Finish: Long, sooty, waxy and delicately phenolic with a lingering farminess. Comments: Why on earth do more people not like Ardmore? Actually, who cares. Part of the distillery’s charm is its utter unsexiness and old school oddball nature. This was a great one. SGP: 466 - 90 points.









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