I said I’d have a brace of Ardmores this week but let’s make it three in a row. This one is the most useless review of the lot, being an independent release that came out well before yesterday’s Traditional and Friday’s Archives 20 yo. I don’t think I’d even heard of the distillery when this was released. Like the Archives this is from a bourbon cask, though it’s a fair bit younger. My sample came to me from Ardmore-enthusiast, Michael Kravitz (his review is here).
I don’t have any Ardmore patter left after the last two reviews and so let’s get right to it.
Ardmore 13, 1990 (58.6%; Gordon & MacPhail; refill bourbon hogshead 12275; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Creamy at first whiff but then there’s white pepper, prickly peat (not phenolic) and mothballs. Very nice indeed. A drop of water brings out more of the mothballs.
Palate: Sweet arrival but also a slightly hot arrival. All the stuff from the nose plus some wet wool. Nice texture. The alcohol bite dissipates as it sits and now there’s a hint of lime as well. With more time it’s sweeter and the sweetness is mixed nicely with the peppery peat. More lime with water and also a slightly meaty note (ham brine).
Finish: Long. The smoke is strongest here as it gets sootier as it goes. As on the palate with water.
Comments: This is old-school minerally, earthy, mildly-peated whisky and it is very good. No fireworks, no big fruit, no peat blast, just flawless whisky of a type you don’t really see much of any more (and usually from Campbeltown when you do). I like a good peat monster as much as the next idiot but I do wish more people would clamour for this kind of mellow peated whisky.
Rating: 88 points.
Thanks to Michael K. for the sample!