I have a bit of a soft spot for Ardmore. There’s no real good reason for it, other than that I like an underdog. Everybody likes an underdog, right?
Only about 1 percent of Ardmore’s production ends up being bottled as a single malt, and the rest ends up in blended whiskies such as Teacher’s. I get why blenders would like to include Ardmore in their recipe: It’s simply very good whisky with a subtle peat influence (12 to 14 PPM). And if you know me just a little bit, you know I’m a sucker for the restraint use of peat.
The Ardmore from The Single Cask I’m reviewing today is a little different though, seeing as it matured in an ex-Laphroaig barrel. A little while back one of these was offered by the casQueteers as well, a cask-sharing initiative from the Netherlands. While I was tempted to participate, I backed out exactly because it matured in an ex-Laphroaig barrel. I like my Ardmore to be just that… Ardmore.
Ardmore 2009 9 Years Old (58.5%, The Single Cask, C#1312)
Nose: Some olive brine with hints of honey and peanut skins. There’s a whiff of green banana, as well as wood smoke and licorice root. Slightly herbal. Pretty mature for its age.
Taste: Certainly very reminiscent of Laphroaig, which I find a bit of a shame, as I usually very much enjoy Ardmore in itself. It’s much more coastal than your average Ardmore. There’s a hint of iodine, some salinity as well. It has a certain earthiness to it, and a good amount of walnuts and almonds. Of course there’s a fair bit of peat here as well.
Finish: Lingering peat smoke, laurel, soft spices. Fairly long.
I would’ve liked a little more Ardmore and a little less Laphroaig, but that’s just me. Overall this is a good, young-ish, peated whisky, that I’m sure will appeal to plenty of people.
Sample provided by The Single Cask
Everyone likes an underdog! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Thijs, great to read and we appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Slainte, Ed
Thanks Ed, had no idea you’re involved with The Single Cask. Slainte!