In May 2018 I reviewed the Ardmore Traditional Cask. The bottle had been open since 2014. I was not reaching for it often and thankfully @Paddockjudge took the bottle off my hands to make room in a very cramped cabinet. I do not believe I have tasted Ardmore since then. I picked this up in June 2019 in Calgary as part of a discount if you buy three minis.
As this distillery is next up in my Boutique-y Advent Calendar series I’m working on, I thought I would review this one and an IB that someone gave me a sample of on the same day, to get a better sense of the distillery.
The Legacy is said to have replaced the Traditional Cask, but the TC was bottled at 46% and this is 40%. Does it live up to its legacy?
This expression, tasted in a Highland Whisky Glass, is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Peat and lemon. Rich nose for 40%. Marinated green olives. The peat is dry but there is an underlying sweetness behind the brine from the olives. Water does not seem to affect the nose.
Thin on the arrival. The overwhelming flavour is a sweet peat. Maybe a bit of brine in the background. Water makes it a little more bitter and peppery, and brings out stronger peatiness. The olive brine is suppressed.
Short and peppery.
The peat on the palate masks most other flavours.
Score: Neat - 85.5/100 With Water: 85/100
I am surprised by this expression. I looked at it and its weak 40% on the label and I was determined not to pre-judge. Turns out I like this one better than the Traditional cask. I don’t think I will buy a bottle of this but I would certainly not turn my nose up at it if offered a dram. At under $50 at the LCBO it outperforms many of its higher priced competitors. If it had a higher ABV this could be a solid performer.
I’d love to see this bumped back up to 46% a la the TC.