This is the first independently bottled Ardmore I’ve ever tried. I like Ardmore’s profile, a lightly peated highland malt, but find the NAS distillery bottlings a little weak (aside from the 12 year old Port Wood Finish), so I was very excited to try a cask strength, non-chill filtered Ardmore, and from the SMWS no less.
Aged 17 years. 57.5%ABV. Matured in a refill gorda cask. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask 66.82.
Nose: Sickeningly fruity sherry. Cherry cough syrup and bad raspberry flavouring, after some glass time these give way to some match heads and fired gunpowder. Some nutty wood. Hints of peat smoke.
Palate: Very very dry. Big nutty sherry note up front. Leading into sweet cherry candies and red liquorice. Some bitter chocolate here too, maybe with raisins. Slight tingling sulphury, almost metallic note at the back of the tongue. A bit of a seafood shop note.
Finish: Long. Dry dry nutty sherry. Blood oranges. Wintergreen. Sweet red fruits galore.
Would I buy this: No
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
The nose was a bit cloyingly sweet at first but it settled down and after that I quite liked it. Massive sherry bomb, but the sulphury sherry works well with the light peat notes of the malt. Not exactly to my tastes, but a damn good whisky all the same.