BYOB-C – say ‘biopsy’ and know that it means ‘Bring Your Own Bottle Club’– celebrates 5 years. For this occasion they release a lovely whisky from the mildly peated Highlander Ardmore. This is already their third single cask in the series with the funny name (and pretty geeky labels) Mobsters on Mopeds. After the wonderful Blair Athol 2000 and the delicious Cambus 1991 (both of which I was able to add the very last bottle to my collection) they now offer up an Ardmore 1998. Funny detail: the label lights up in the dark.
Surprisingly peat on the nose. More than I anticipated. Smells like a pot of honey above a bonfire, surrounded by lots of grassy notes. Mostly hay. A touch mineral too. Pebbles, beeswax and some Gyproc. Then some apples and green grapes. Lots of barley sugars. Some ginger and white pepper. Smells a lot fresher and younger than its two decades on wood, but lovely nonetheless.
Good arrival. Perfect strength. Barley sugars first and then lots of (non-medicinal for mainland) peat that delivers a grand smokiness and warms the mouth. The peppers are pretty loud too. Autumn leaves, bacon laced with honey on the BBQ, nicely waxy. Apples and pears. Melon. The grassy notes remain strong until the finish. Again surprisingly fresh.
The finish is a finale. Very long, sweet with more spiciness and while the smoke fades away gently a lovely salty note emerges. A perfect bitterness as of from a grape pith at the death. Wow!
Well, this is my 30th Ardmore, but what a feast. Still available for around 133 EUR at BYOB-C, but I’m not sure how many they still have, so you may want to hurry. Bottle 69 of 69 has gotten a nice spot in my whisky cabinet.