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10yo Ardmore aged in a refill ex sherry butt. “Milano Salami and a Tropical Fruit Kebab” @58.2% ABV and 1/702 bottles.
Incredibly dark, looks like it could have spent 20 years in a first fill sherry cask; deep maroon.
To smell: Honey glazed ham, a sweet BBQ sauce coating charred spare ribs. Surprisingly much more meaty than smoky – it’s a big, sherried Islay sans smoke. I can occasionally pin down a Highland Park heather-honey in the background.
To taste; The label captures my sentiment almost exactly; “hot, spicy and smoky like a heavily char grilled sausage”. Syrupy Chilli & Hickory sauce heat and coat the mouth before verrrry slowly subsiding to an unexpected, delicate sherry-sweetness.
I don’t quite end up with the “tropical fruit notes” that the UK panel finds, but I can roughly imagine how they got there. The Australian panel notes have it “A strange, compelling & delicious combination of malt, peat, sherry and oak...lots going on here, and all of it delectable”
Almost in a category of its own credit to its unique flavour profile. At every stage it’s possible to tell there’s sweetness fighting hard behind the scenes, but it’s being pinned down by a more dominant array of meats and paired sauces (until the finish at least).
I find it more of a novelty drink for occasional sipping; not quite something I’d have with dinner, as or with dessert. More something I would have as dinner.