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Ha, this is my 20th Ardmore. The Ardmore Distillery, near Huntly, was founded by Adam Teacher. The malt is still the heart of the Teacher’s blend. But it is also released as a single malt and the newest to the core range is this Port Wood Finish, that matured for 10 years on bourbon casks and then was allowed to sleep two more years on European half port pipes. That explains the lovely tawny color.
The nose starts on light peat and stable scents, that are quickly joined by very sweet fruit. Think strawberry, rhubarb, brambles and even cherries. Add some raisins and a bit of lime. It also sports a very soft salty note as if from fresh white fish. I quite like this!
The arrival is good. Oily mouth feel and immediately smoky. Loads of spices (mostly pepper), before the fruit kicks in. All of them very sweet, of course. Brambles in the lead. They are joined by apricots and some chocolate. The combination with the peat works very well on the palate.
The finish is fairly long. The smoke clears very slowly, allowing the fruit – that seems to get darker and even candied – the final say.
What a pleasant malt. Wine finishes are often quite tricky, but this one gets it right. Just under 50 EUR. Recommended.