Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
Ardmore distillery is located in the far South-East of Speyside, at the edge of the Grampian mountains. The name Ardmore derives from the Gaelic 'Ard moi' meaning 'Big Slope', a reference to the undulations of Aberdeenshire where the distillery stands. It was built in 1898 by Adam Teacher, son of William. Even today, most of the whisky the distillery produces is reserved for the Teacher's blends that get a lot of their malty character from the Ardmore malt whisky. Until 2002 the stills at Ardmore were heated by the traditional coal fired furnaces but like most of the other malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, they use internal heating now. This particular expression is a refill bourbon edition distilled on 11 June 1991 and bottled by Gordon and MacPhail on 7 March 2007 from casks #6167, #6168, #6169 and #6170.
The nose is refreshingly malty and nutty, and despite the high ABV there is hardly any alcohol burn. This is a promising start! After a while there are distinct flavours of vanilla, followed by salty and grassy notes and a whiff of smoke. With water this becomes more mellow, grainy and almost perfumy.
The palate is medium-bodied, spicy and dry. Compared to the nose the alcohol is rather dominant here. Malty notes are again at the forefront, this time followed by apples, nuts and wood spiciness. With water the palate gets quite earthy and lemon notes come to the fore.
The finish is of medium length and very warming. Vanilla and grassy flavours are back, and towards the end wood spiciness becomes more pronounced, making this a very dry finish.
This is a complex single malt. While in my opinion the nose is best enjoyed without water, the palate gains in profile by water being added. I do not think I have come across a comparable whisky before. All in all this is good, solid stuff that reminds me a little bit of the Brora type of whisky that sadly I enjoyed all too rarely until now. For me, this is what single malts are all about, and I loved it! Had the finish been a little less dry, this could have been 90 points material.