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Ardmore - Traditional Cask

There Can Be Only One!

1 1083

RReview by @Rigmorole

27th Jan 2013

0

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    83

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This Highlander is no Kurgan, that's for sure: a traditional cask aged dateless wonder with no birthday per se, but this single malt's got a nice hint of peat in there that is quite satisfying. It's sweet enough to please the ladies who would turn up their noses at the presence of charcoal, heavy leather, and medicinal-tasting tinctures that tickle the tongue.

No water added to my dram. Yes, a teaspoon would make absolve the slight burn, and no doubt change the flavor at bit, but I seem to like the way it burns just a little without any water at 46%. Most experts would add water for the tasting, but I'm too lazy. I'm sitting at my desk without water and I don't feel like getting up and walking two miles down the trail in the snow to the double cylinder hand pump well for a few teaspoons of water, and two miles back up the trail, in order to round out this review for you picky blokes ; )

THE REVIEW Rich natural color with no carmel added. Aged in a small cask for faster maturation and flavoring of the oak.

Scent of Bananas; nutmeg; vanilla bean; coconut; mild earthy peat; old leather saddle worn by the horse. Beneath it all, the peat and smoke every so slightly beckons: "drink me." With time the nose turns more leathery like Lagavulin.

Flavor of vanilla beans, strong tongue feel, peat goes nicely to your nose, pleasant burn, sweet honey, delightful malt, fresh cut oak, toffee. A faint smokey presence permeates the entire mouth feel, but not overpoweringly. With time, the mouth feel becomes less sweet.

As for flavor comparisons: No medicinal quality as in Laphroaig. No briquette charcoal presence as in Ardbeg. No dominant leather note as in Lagavulin. Rather, this Ardmore scotch blends sweet and smoky with the sweet as a more full bodied sweet rather than a cloying sweet as in many Speysides.

Finish is generous for the price; not overly long, but nice. Simple finish, not complex but pleasing with more vanilla bean, sea salt, toffee, and caramel. Time does not affect the finish. It remains dominated by vanilla beans and gets perhaps a bit longer after 25 minutes in the glass.

Pleasant taste left in the mouth after the finish. Would pair well with deserts featuring apples, pears, caramel, vanilla pudding or ice cream. A bit sweet to drink with dinner, however. Still, not overpoweringly sweet and the smokey undertone could pair perhaps with salmon or ham as the main course. Also, a nice drinking scotch for any time.

If leave a few drops in the bottle of your glass and drink them, the peat really comes through strong for some reason in those last few drops.

Price in Portland, Oregon, USA: $45 bottle. Not to be found in any bars hereabouts, unavailable for tasting. The bars and pubs have not caught up with this reasonably priced drinkable scotch yet. We are smarter than they are right now. Drink up, lads and lassies.

p.s. This scotch is not great for drink after drink after drink. I reach my limit at two glasses and then I switch to something a bit less sweet. But then again, I do like Caol Isa mixed with Talisker when I'll be having more than two.

Last night, I did indulge in three glasses (unusual for me) of the Ardmore TC and the last glass was markedly less enjoyable. Call it the "law of diminishing returns." Aye. Or so said the economist's side of me noggin.

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10 comments

@MCM
MCM commented

I don't know how I can take this review seriously if you weren't able to make a serious effort to find and add water.

Seriously though, very nicely reviewed. Thanks, and added to wishlist.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

It's great without or I would have. I had it with water yesterday, and it's quite good that was, with less burn of course.

Most reviews on here don't offer separate nose/palate/finish reviews with and without water.

As for a wish list, this one is cheap enough to just haul off and buy it. $45 dollars is about the same as $27 in 2008. That's how much the US dollar has been deflated in five years by the Private Owned and Operated "Federal" Reserve. I don't know about you, but 2008 doesn't seem that long ago to me : )

6 years ago 0

@MCM
MCM commented

Hmm... 2008 you say. Something happened in 2008, I just can't seem to put my finger on it. Consequences is all I can say.

Yeah, I actually found it on sale for $25 in Minneapolis, however I live in the middle of nowhere in Northwest Iowa and don't make it to a well stocked liquor store very often.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

You're right, MCM! 2008 was an auspicious year. Then again, BO kept the same secretary of the treasury that W appointed during his term, and guess where that secretary came from? The New York federal reserve! ha! talk about conflict of interest.

So it's probably more of a double aisle double team on the American public than most people realize. My wallet sure has been double teamed. It really shows when you sell a used motorcycle. Nobody takes into consideration how the dollar has gone down. For instance, Triumph is making less money now than in 2009 on Bonnevilles. They are the same price for new bikes, but the dollar is worth so much less that Triumph is actually making a lot less money.

The whisky biz is probably similar. Distillers are losing money with the world economy going down the tubes. The main folks who win when the dollar is deflated are the banks that hold national loans and the banks that issue currency. Oh well . . . makes me want a drink.

6 years ago 0

@MCM
MCM commented

Agree.

And now for that drink.

6 years ago 0

@Jonesz
Jonesz commented

You have me slathering. Your review pushes most of my buttons. Some peat, smoke and leather! I have it on my wish list but unfortunately will have to wait till my next trip South or West as it is not available in our provincial liquor monopoly. Really enjoyed your review.

6 years ago 0

@Jonesz
Jonesz commented

Forgot to add that Teachers Highland Cream is still one of my favourite inexpensive (OK cheap) blends. I think this is due to the Ardmore content.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I'm bumping my rating of this scotch down to 85. It's not growing on me. Actually, the opposite is happening. It ends of a bitter note in the finish now that is unpleasant. This goes away if you put some water in the scotch and let it sit for thirty minutes before drinking it, however.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I'm bumping it back up again. It's improved dramatically in the past two weeks in the bottle with some air. It's about one sixth full now and absolutely fantastic. Age in the bottle worked wonders. The finish does not have a trace of the bitterness now. 88 Points.

6 years ago 0

@Jonesz
Jonesz commented

Thanx for the update. I was complaining that it was not available here but after reading your revision checked again and lo and behold it is now available. Will be picking some up this week.

6 years ago 0

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