Have you noticed the diminishing amount of independent Laphroaig and the sudden rise of Ardmore? With the current high demand for whisky in general and the relatively limited supply of Islay whisky, heavily peated Ardmore is being pushed as the alternative for Laphroaig – both distilleries are owned by Beam / Suntory.
We’re trying a young one: Ardmore 2000 in the Liquid Library series.
Ardmore 14 yo 2000 (49,8%, Liquid Library 2014, refill hogshead, 289 btl.)
Nose: ashy and peaty, Islay-style indeed. Older Ardmore can have a tropical side to it – this one doesn’t, but it does show a fruity sweetness of peaches and pears. Some hay and walnut skin. Buttered toast. Not very complex but really enjoyable.
Mouth: sharper now, with a sour / bitter attack and then heavy ashes. Rather dry and peppery. Burnt grass, soot, liquorice, grapefruit skin. A vague sweetness in the background, but otherwise it’s pretty assertive, not to say a little hardcore.
Finish: long, dry, with an agave touch and hints of tar.
A straightforward, austere Ardmore that isn’t quite up there with Laphroaig, although the effort is worthwhile. Around € 85.