Ardmore 10 Year Old Private Cask Selection for Crann Whisky Club Valinch & Mallet
Review by @markjedi1
This Ardmore was bottled by Crann Whisky Club from Boom, Belgium, selected from the stables of independent bottler Valinch & Mallet. The nice thing about this release is that the Ardmore matured in a former Koval barrel. Koval is a young craft distillery from Chicago, USA, who have only been working since 2008. Nice, right?
Ardmore's DNA translates to peat smoke and white fruit. Think apples and pears. Also a lot of vanilla and honey, a hint of banana, sweet chestnuts and walnuts. Hint of rice porridge. There is also a salty edge to it, which brings this Ardmore nicely into balance.
Beautiful body and immediately very sweet on a cartload of vanilla and honey, something very sweet and also something of perfume. Becomes a bit floral and sharp suddenly, but it all remains within limits. The saltiness returns and the balance is maintained, but it’s a tad too perfumed to my liking, making it almost soapy. It's a balancing act.
In the finish, it's a battle between sweet and salty (sweet wins) with a nice, warm smokiness that lingers, while white pepper and slightly bitter chestnuts get the last word.
That was a close call, but it remains on the right side of the soap border. Bold choice. Thanks to Mathias for the sample.
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