A whole new batch of Single Malts of Scotland releases turned up at The Whisky Exchange yesterday. Among them we find this Ardmore 1998, a medium peated single malt from a single hogshead.
Definitely one of the highlights in this batch, in my opinion, together with the Bunnahabhain 2001 which is sadly sold out already.
Ardmore 21 yo 1998 (53,1%, Single Malts of Scotland 2020, hogshead #750788, 287 btl.)
Nose: oh, pretty great. Very ashy, with a freshly extinguished barbecue, a whiff of diesel and concrete. Grilled vegetables. Fairly low-key, elegant peat, I like that. Some wet hay and smoked almonds. Dried herbs in the background. Hints of lemon and yellow apple peel. This reminds me of a Port Ellen, albeit slightly more delicate.
Mouth: surprisingly creamy now, again with a velvety peatiness and cold ashes. Lemon cake, almonds, sweet apple. Getting quite bright and tart after a while. Smoked lime in crescendo, very light chalk, hessian and paprika. Not the most complex Ardmore ever, but the refined character is just marvellous.
Finish: quite long, still more ashy than smoky, with bright citrus, minerals and dried grasses.
Very classy Ardmore. I love this kind of delicately peated whisky, mature and simply very drinkable. I already gave its sister cask a high score but this is even better. Available from The Whisky Exchange.