My first bottle from the SMWS was a 22 year old Glen Grant 'I drambled lonely as a cloud' which I gave a fairly withering review of on here. I wasn't impressed, although was perhaps a tad harsh in my scoring as it grew on ne a bit towards the end.
The same time I brought that bottle I brought this. Which is my first bottle of an Ardmore. It's 12 years old. Was matured in a refill bourbon higshead and cost me £59.
My initial impression was a solid if perhaps a bit uninspiring peated whisky. However ot has defintely grown on me over the 5 months or so I've had the bottle open.
The peat is quite restrained on the nose and just kind of hovers in the background. Very famy. Wet hay. A white wine note. A fairly delicate nose.
Contrary to the nose the peat is right there on the arrival taking your breath away. There's biscuits and grain on the development. Oak too as the peat subsides. Not a hugely oily dram. Quite thin.
Is long and lingering. And the peat which had subsided a bit, just lingers and lingers. Bitter tannins towards the end.
You get green apples on the nose. And its sweeter. The tanins kick in earlier but the finish shortens a bit.
Despite the high abv you can drink this neat and I haven't yet decided how I like it best. Despite being two thirds of the way down the bottle. I've tended to have a few sips neat to get the power of the whisky then added a bit of water.
Overall this bottle has made me a bit happier about joining the SMWS. A really good, traditional peated (non Islay) whisky that most people that like a peated whisky would enjoy.