Ardmore, the gently peated and sometimes unusual alternative to Islay whisky, often priced more reasonably then the famous Islay counterparts.
Today we’re trying two Ardmore 1998 bottlings, both originating in Germany and with a surprisingly similar ABV. One is bottled by The Whisky Agency, the other by Mancarella.
Ardmore 20 yo 1998 (51,7%, The Whisky Agency 2018, hogshead)
Nose: porridge, leather, cold bonfire ashes and ink but also lots of fruity notes. Lime, gooseberries, tinned pineapple. Also a hint of old turpentine. Camphor and menthol after a while. Nice style.
Mouth: an oily texture, with waxy notes and a combination of slightly acrid smoke, sweet notes (barley sugar, Haribo candy and peaches) and slightly astringent grassy notes. Then liquorice and citrus zest.
Finish: medium long, with sweet malty notes, vague fruits and some oak spice.
Gentle smoke and generous (slightly tropical) fruits which combine nicely with the waxy side. Around € 150 from Whiskysite.nl for instance.
Ardmore 20 yo 1998 (51,9%, Mancarella 2018, bourbon hogshead)
Nose: very similar, with the moderate peaty notes and abundant (slightly tropical) fruits. This one has a more pronounced lactic side (yoghurt, sour butter milk), with floral notes and more wood spice perhaps.
Mouth: again this very sweet, candied style of peated whisky. Melons, tangerines but less refined than when they appear in very old Islay whisky. Waxy notes. Also green, grassy elements and liquorice.
Finish: medium long, ashy, with a herbal side that seems bigger than in the Whisky Agency bottling.
Very similar, perhaps slightly more assertive than the TWA cask and with a sourish, lactic side that I’m not entirely fond of. Equally interesting though. Around € 140 from Dein-Whisky for instance.