You don’t get too many Ardmore bottlings matured in sherry casks, I suppose Asta Morris must have bought it as young spirit and decided to go for a sherry cask himself.
This is just 5 years old. When asked about the young age of this whisky, Bert simply answered because it wouldn’t make sense to age it longer and that’s probably the only right answer. Looking at the colour this must have been a very active (deeply charred?) cask.
Ardmore 5 yo 2013 (56,4%, Asta Morris 2019, sherry butt, 211 btl.)
Nose: lots of dark candy sugar, caramel and sweet tobacco leaves. Milk chocolate coated raisins and prunes. Whiffs of red candy. Roast coffee beans and warm smoke that has a hard time getting over the sweetness. Hints of pumpernickel and gingerbread. Certainly very aromatic and not immature, but compared to the Caol Ila from the same batch this feels a little more bloated and more fleshy / unclean. Maybe not a fair comparison indeed.
Mouth: overwhelming sherry again. Figs, date loaf, dry tobacco. Hints of earthy liquorice and tar. Turkish coffee and caramelized notes again, like a good stout. Gingerbread with some salty notes. Touches of herbal bitters. Some hints of seared meat and tobacco underneath.
Finish: long, sweet and sour with woody hints. Red berries, caramel, smoke and coffee.
A proper sherry bomb which even manages to overtake the peaty side. It suffers a little from the comparison with the excellent Caol Ila 2011, which I think is playing in a higher league. Nonetheless this is a very intense, rich whisky with good value for money. Around € 60, now in stores.