Ardmore 12 Port Wood Finish

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This is the Ardmore, a speyside dram whose “thing” is lightly peated whisky. There was quite a lot of fuss a while back when they decided to chill-filter their main expression, Legacy, whose predecessor, Traditional Cask had not been chill-filtered.

Unlike adding caramel for colour, which only bothers me because it creates misconceptions, I really can feel a difference between chill filtered whusky and non-chill filtered whisky, so bad show there. Thankfully this “premium” bottling is non-chill filtered. It also carries an age statement, which most of their fare does not.

This stuff has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels (probably refill) and then finished in port casks. Port is an interesting finish. I find that it can either make or break a whisky for me, as it doesn’t work for every profile. On the whole I like it combined with a heavily peated malt. Ardmore is lightly peated, but let’s see how it plays out.

Aged 12 years, 46%ABV, Matured in ex-Bourbon casks and finished in Port casks, Non-chill filtered.

Nose: Wine corks. Herbal peat. Lemon tea. Rich leather. Strawberries. Bit of pepper. Wasabi. Orange peel spray. Redcurrants. Salty toffee. An empty humidor. Shortcake. Cacao.

Palate: Quite a dirty, gritty peat. Treated thatch. Dry red fruits. Strawberries. Plums. Woodspice. Dry grapey notes. Light biscuity note. Bitter chocolate.

Finish: Medium. Woodspice lingers on the tongue. Dry red wine tannins. Dry tobacco.

Rating: Try this

Global VFM: 4/5

Local VFM: N/A

I was really surprised by this one. I bought the bottle on a whim because it was relatively cheap and for what I paid (around 50 Euros) I really felt like I got my money’s worth. The peat profile reminded me a little of Benromach and it worked well with the heavy, fruity port notes. Really enjoyed this one.

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