ardmore 25 years marriage of casks single malts of scotland review

Ardmore 25 Years ‘Marriage of Casks’ (Single Malts of Scotland)

Is Ardmore one of the most underrated single malts from Scotland? I think, maybe, yes. There are always caveats when it comes to these kinds of things, but the independent bottlings from this distillery impress me again and again. The Ardmore 25 Years ‘Marriage of Casks’ from Elixir Distillers is another such example.

However, I might make an important distinction between old-style Ardmore and new-style Ardmore. The turning point was when the distillery switched from direct heating (by coal) to steam-heated stills. (Although there are always exceptions.) Also, maybe it’s just an age thing.

Either way, younger Ardmore, like the many releases from vintages such as 2009 or 2010, lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. Whereas I adore almost everything from the 1990s (or even the 1980s). Signature notes of sooty ashes, wood smoke and fruity sweetness. It just fits in my preferred style of subtly peated single malts.

Not many people talk about Ardmore. It doesn’t help that not many official releases are available. It’s not pushed as a single malt. That’s not to say Ardmore is affordable by any stretch. (Does such a Scotch single malt still exist?) But it might be undervalued. And that’s just fine by me.

ardmore 25 years marriage of casks single malts of scotland

Ardmore 25 Years ‘Marriage of Casks’ (48.6%, Single Malts of Scotland, 2023)

Nose: Get in! Mature Ardmore at its finest. Poised and refined. Gentle notes of charcoal, bonfire and grease alongside jammy apricots, lemon zest and a sprinkle of iodine. Just a touch of menthol, tobacco leaves and burlap as well. Finally tinned peaches.
Taste: A light waxy mouthfeel, but slightly dry and ashy too. Liquorice root. Charcoal makes an encore, and there’s strong breakfast tea, a hint of pepper, and even some gentle medicinal notes. A whisper of ripe banana, and just a touch of lemongrass. Not as fruity as I’d hoped though.
Finish: Medium length. Beeswax, slightly herbacious and salty, as well as some soot. Just a tinge of citrus there at the end.

The nose is the epitome of older Ardmore, but the palate, while still delicious, can't keep up entirely. I would've liked a bit more fruitiness, but you can't have it all. Regardless, this is upper echelon Ardmore.

Photo: Whiskybase

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