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Ardmore Legacy

Satisfactory Budget Malt

5 877

@RianCReview by @RianC

2nd May 2018


Ardmore Legacy
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I'm beginning to become acquainted with the Ardmore distillery a bit of late, well some of its products I should say, and find myself with a bottle of the Legacy. Often available for £20 in the UK so not much more than a budget blend would cost - worth bearing in mind!

I picked up a bottle last year and received one as a gift at Xmas so thought it about time I cracked one open to taste alongside the IB SB I reviewed last week.

Nose - dusty, old oak, vanilla, soft smoke and light peat. If you really get your nose in there the peaty tang emerges more. Sweet and lemony. Not quite sherbet lemons but heading in that direction. There's a bitter/herbal note I can't quite put my finger on which isn't that pleasant to me. I have a feeling it's coming from old casks but what do I know? It's certainly not present in the IB.

Taste - lemon pith, malt and a touch of smoke. Thin mouth feel but not watery. Not harsh in any way.

Finish - Yes, it does and quickly! Some mildly bitter tannins.

Adding a few drops of water isn't ideal at 40% but it does help round off the bitter edge on the noseand brings out more of the sweetness on the palette.

So, not a world beater but I wasn't expecting one for the price. It's filling the place of a cheaper blend in my opened stash and at that it does a decent job. Nothing wrong with this but I think it may hang around for a while if you get my meaning?

Also worth noting I've a bit of hay fever/summer cold thing going on so perhaps not at my best.

Related Ardmore reviews


Nozinan commented

Thanks for taking one for the team. Although there is some question as to the order ot Traditional and Traditional cask, this one was clearly the NAS follow-up to those.

I note the ABV of 40%, which may be one of the big differences between this one and the TC (46%) that I recently reviewed.

6 years ago 3Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Nozinan - You're welcome! Yes, the abv is not helping but it really is worth factoring in the cost on this one. I've rated this as I would a malt but if I were comparing this to blends at a similar price then it would be mid eighties, if that makes sense?

Glad I've had a look at Ardmore, and the blend I've made with the IB (and others) is coming along very nicely, but I doubt I'll be looking their way again for a while. A sweet smoky profile that never really grips me outside of Islay/Island whiskies.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

@RianC The conversation of relative value has taken many forms on this and other sites.

Personally I do not agree with "it's good for its price" rationale.

To me it's either worth drinking or it isn't. If it isn't then it doesn't matter what the price is. If it is worth drinking then you have to ask "is it worth buying?"

If it's worth buying, the last question is "can I afford it?"


I should note that I, like many others, have gushed over OGD114 and how great it is for the price. But I think that's different. In that case it is a phenomenal whisky, and it passes the first 2 tests with ease. When it comes to the "can I afford it" question, that's when we se the the amazement that it can be so cheap, because other whiskies of similar quality cost so much more.

6 years ago 3Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan Dang it !!! I should have asked you for another sample of OGD 114 !!! It really is a terrific whiskey.

@RianC As for Ardmore Legacy, it is an easy-drinking session dram. I’ve shared this malt on several occasions with my wife’s cousin’s husband (did you follow that?) who likes to keep this one stocked. I’m inclined to think you scored it about where I would (I might nudge it up to 80pts, but that’s me). Definitely worth drinking, but it’s not going to make you re-evaluate everything you thought you knew about whisky, the way Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength will, the first time you drink it. Thanks for the review.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Nozinan - Fair points and I wouldn't necessarily disagree.

Thing is, if you're on a budget and want to buy whisky but can't afford £30+ bottles you may be tempted to look at a blend option. For about £5 more than a bottle of Teacher's you could have this. In that sense it makes it better value imo as you're getting a very drinkable single malt for an excellent price.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

MadSingleMalt commented

@RianC , I love the no-BS tone of your reviews. This another good one.

As for the whisky, there's nothing wrong with a decent little whatever at a good price. I like to keep at least one Plain Jane around just to remind me how good the good stuff is. This sounds like it could fit that bill.

But—about Ardmore's move from the 46% Traditional Cask to this 40% thing, I don't get it. It's like they have no conception of the direction the single malt market has been moving for the past few years.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

RianC commented

@MadSingleMalt - Thank you, that's very nice to hear but I always feel I ramble on a bit . . . smiley

I also like to have a more budget blend and/or lesser quality malt on the go for exactly the reason you outline. Tasting the IB after the Legacy really highlights the differences and I feel like if I go straight into a 'better quality' malt I often miss the subtleties that make it so damn good! Got a bit like that towards the end of the Talisker 18 - it was just so damn good and moreish I was quaffing it like juice!

I think you nail Ardmore's presentation policy - I'm guessing they are going down the 'if we sell cheap we'll sell more' line of thinking. Shame.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

Frost commented

Thank you @RianC

This malt represents what I feel is wrong with the industry right now. Replacing the 'Traditional' with this and under powering it by 6% ABV in comparison, while charging the same price. I also feel the peat is underwhelming in this one.

I think marketers think the way to reach bigger sales is to neuter peat in bottles.

I don't feel this is a bad malt, it's just a stinker of a replacement. Although, I must say, I wouldn't feel bad using this to add some thump to a pour of Teachers.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?