The Seasons – Summer: Benriach, Ardmore, Lowlands (TWE)

The Seasons – Summer: Benriach, Ardmore, Lowlands (TWE)

Two weeks ago The Whisky Exchange presented a new series inspired by the Seasons. Four sets of three whiskies will be released over the course of one year. The first release focuses on Summer and includes three single malts sourced from Benriach, Ardmore and an undisclosed Lowlands distillery.

They are available as a collectible set or each bottle separately of course.


Benriach 15 yo 2008 (51,9%, The Whisky Exchange ‘Seasons – Summer’ 2023, hogshead #47387)

Nose: rich and slightly heavyweight, on rice pudding with quite a lot of vanilla, as well as orange candy, waffle dough and hints of toffee. Stewed peaches and pears, with lots of beer-like mashy notes and hints of muesli. Then there’s also a herbal edge and a tinge of alcohol.

Mouth: now showing a rather tropical fruitiness, with lots of candy sugar, apricots and honeyed tea. Quince compote, some mango cubes, with vanilla ice cream and lots of barley sweetness. A light bready hint in the background, with mild pepper and a hint of candied ginger.

Finish: medium, still lots of sweet barley notes, with orchard fruit and toffee.

A rich and sweet profile, with hints of tropical fruits. The honey and vanilla take away some brightness and give it a heavier, creamy character. Fine for summertime indeed. Exclusively available from The Whisky Exchange.



Ardmore 26 yo 1997 (50,3%, The Whisky Exchange ‘Seasons – Summer’ 2023, hogshead #901299)

Ardmore 1997 - Seasons Summer - The Whisky Exchange

Nose: almond sweetness, some paraffin and lightly grilled pineapple. Just a hint of chalk, charcoal and old engine grease. Yellow apples, hints of peach jam and subtle vanilla. Light menthol, hints of tobacco leaves and barley syrup in the background. A lot more finesse than the Benriach.

Mouth: oily, with fruity sweetness (peach, ripe banana, raisins) and a subtle sooty / charcoal echo. Mid-palate some coffee beans appear, as well as some black pepper, honeyed tea. Then some sweet citrus towards the end.

Finish: medium length, still rather waxy and fruity, with hints of pepper and very light smoke.

As a summer whisky, I don’t know – some other Ardmore were even fruitier. As a whisky on its own (regardless of the season) this is quite excellent though. Lots of tiny complexities. Available from The Whisky Exchange. Score: 89/100



Lowlands Malt 11 yo 2012 (58,8%, The Whisky Exchange ‘Seasons – Summer’ 2023, refill hogshead #3478)

Lowlands Malt 2012 - Seasons Summer - The Whisky Exchange Nose: nice and fresh, with a marked hint of orchard blossom, along with vanilla marshmallow and banana sweetness. Then icing sugar, lemon candy, pear compote and peach. A little vanilla and sweet, lightly toasted oak.

Mouth: very inviting again, with fresh malty notes, peaches and cherries, as well as vanilla custard, plenty of orange notes and lime. Then some pineapple cubes and banana ice cream. Round oaky notes underneath.

Finish: medium, with lingering peach and banana, mixed with balanced oak spice.

I’m generally not the biggest fan of Lowlands whisky, but this has a very seductive fruity profile. Overall the best advocate of summertime in my opinion, recommended. Available from The Whisky Exchange. Score: 89/100