Ardmore week began on a low note with Monday’s 6 yo Ardlair (unpeated Ardmore bottled by Signatory) and then hit a big high on Wednesday with a regularly made 10 yo (bottled by Single Cask Nation). Will today’s 19 yo (bottled by Single Malts of Scotland) from 1992 go even higher? Only one way to find out. This sample also came to me from Michael K. of Diving for Pearls but I’m not sure if he’s reviewed it yet himself. I greedily accepted the offer of the sample even though I have a full bottle myself.
Ardmore 19, 1992 (49.3%; Single Malts of Scotland; bourbon barrel 9464; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Everything you want your Ardmore 19 to be: mineral peat mixed with sweet floral notes and savoury notes (ham cure). On the second sniff the smoke has begun to turn ashy and the floral notes begin to move in the direction of musky fruit (honeydew melon) and fruit custard. Citronella builds in the background and then comes to the fore. With time and air the citronella moves in the direction of sweet orange and the sweet fruit moves somewhere between peach and overripe pineapple. The smoke builds as it sits. A few drops of water and it all melds perfectly.
Palate: Comes in with the smoke (and some white pepper) with the fruit bringing up the rear. Very nice oily texture and an excellent drinking strength. Not much sign of the oak (beyond the pepper), which is quite remarkable for 19 years in a barrel. More of the same with time and air: peppery, lightly smoked melon custard. What will water do? It emphasizes the fruit, turning it a shade more tropical—smoked pineapple rather than melon now.
Finish: Long. The pepper and the smoke build together. With time the citrus emerges here and the smoke picks up some ash. More pepper with water and also more of the musky fruit.
Comments: What can I say? I’m very glad I have a full bottle.
Rating: 90 points.
Thanks to Michael for the sample.