Okay, let’s make it two Ardmores in a row. I really liked the 20 yo I reviewed on Monday. Like this one, that was also bottled by the SMWS. Unlike this one, however, that was from a refill bourbon cask. This one very much is not. Well, it started out in bourbon cask but ended up in a red wine cask for some reason. I’m yet to come across any compelling reason to finish whisky in red wine casks. Will this change my mind? Let’s see.
Ardmore 13, 2006 (58.1%; SMWS 66.161; red wine finish; from a bottle split)
Nose: Fairly jumbled with some pickled/acidic notes, some char, some oak, some red fruit. On the second and third sniffs there’s quite a bit of lime. As it sits the smoke takes on a slightly plasticky/acryclic character. The nose settles down with time and air and the plastic/acrylic note recedes. Water brings out a cured meat note.
Palate: Leads with the plastic/acrylic and then there’s that big indistinct jumble. Very hot at full strength. Not much improvement here with time/air. I can only hope water will improve this. Well, the acrylic gets pushed back a bit and in its place there’s some pencil lead; nothing else of very great interest though.
Finish: Long. The wine separates almost immediately and there’s not much else going on besides alcohol heat. Water fixes the wine separation and pulls out more of the lime.
Comments: The nose started out jumbled but got a lot better; the palate did not. I’m afraid this is not the whisky to make me a believer in red wine finishes.
Rating: 80 points. (Pulled up by the nose.)