Ardmore 25 Years 1997 (Marriage of Casks)

Ardmore 25 Years 1997 (Marriage of Casks)

Within the Single Malts of Scotland brand (by Elixir Distillers of course), there are a couple of subsets, like the Director’s Special bottlings. Similarly the Marriage of Casks range encompasses careful selections of small marriages of casks, usually just two, of higher age. Often the complexity and balance is perfect.

We’re looking at a well-aged Ardmore 1997, a marriage of hogsheads.


Ardmore 25 yo 1997 (48,6%, Single Malts of Scotland ‘Marriage of Casks’ 2023, hogsheads)

Nose: a nice dustiness, refined sooty ashes, old engine grease and soft menthol. Then mild leathery notes, mossy notes and burning hay. Yellow apples with lemon zest, toasted bread and drops of gentian. Slightly sweet, iodized smoke. Subtle hints of ginger biscuits. Full of sophistication, I’m getting a bit of an old Laphroaig vibe.

Mouth: rather waxy and oily, with more sooty notes, camphor and ointments. Mid-palate hints of roasted coffee beans appear, followed by firm salted notes, hessian and hints of old herbal liqueurs. There are just enough flashes of fruity sweetness, but not as much as we’ve come to expect from old Ardmore. Then some coal dust, Szechuan pepper and subtle bitter notes. Ginger and eucalyptus too.

Finish: long, rather medicinal, with hints of black tea, salted liquorice, herbs and a little chocolate.

Quite a delicious and sophisticated smoky / greasy style. Very pleasing, with a good balance between umami notes, sweetness and smokiness. A bit more fruitiness could have propelled this to greater heights. Still available from The Whisky Exchange for instance.