Ardnamurchan AD/09.20:01 (2020)
I realise I’m a bit late to the party and that Ardnamurchan’s inaugural release has been sold out everywhere. You’ll have to pay a premium for the Ardnamurchan AD/09.20:01 if you want to get your hands on it. I wanted to write a review nonetheless. Hopefully you’ll still be interested in my thoughts. I’d sure like to know what you think of this distillery’s first entry into the world of single malt whisky.
Ardnamurchan is one of the most remote distilleries on mainland Scotland, but I’ve once coincidentally driven past the distillery back in 2013, when it was still under construction. If you realise just how remote Ardnamurchan Distillery is, you understand that it is almost impossible to get there by accident. Being not as obsessed with whisky as I am now, it had simply slipped my mind that a distillery was being built on the route to Ardnamurchan Point. Just a year later I got to try some of the distillery’s early unpeated new make during a tasting with Alex Bruce.
The distillery’s inaugural release is made from a mixture of unpeated and peated (50ppm) single malt and has matured in both bourbon (65%) and sherry (35%) casks. A total of 15,978 bottles were released from a batch of 53 casks.
Ardnamurchan AD/09.20:01 (46.8%, OB, 2020)
Nose: There’s subtle notes of seaweed, honey and a slight minerality. The peat influence is like an extremely dialed down version of the herbacious, sauerkraut-y peat I associate with Ledaig. Some soft orchard fruits, as well as flax hemp rope. Quite rich and certainly intriguing.
Taste: Oily with charred peanut skins and gentle, earthy smoke, as well as a subtle salinity and green olives. A whisper of damp oak and honey too.
Finish: A touch of charcoal, some and salt with a sweet finale.
It’s the balance that stands out to me. This almost exactly fits into the flavour profile Ardnamurchan has been advertising since they opened. Seems like the Scottish west coast has another gem to cherish.
Photo: The Whisky Exchange
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.