Ardmore 6yo, 2010-2017, The Barreliers
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: The Barreliers
Cask type: Barrel (#803516, 193 btl.)
Nose: The nose starts off with delicate bonfire smoke. Behind that sweet vanilla and malted barley notes arrive, accompanied by cereals and a touch of lemon fruit. Spicy hints of white pepper in the background. The alcohol is already well integrated and not at all pungent.
Palate: Quite spicy on the palate at first with oak, black pepper and nutmeg. Very warming indeed, certainly owing to the high alcohol content. Then a delicate sweetness of vanilla and caramel arrives, mixed with honey and stewed yellow fruit. This is all nicely wrapped in gentle wood smoke. Very mouth-filling and salivation stimulating!
Finish: The finish is long, warm and rather spicy with pepper and dry oak. Discreet sweetness of vanilla and honey on the tail with a whiff of wood smoke.
With water: There's less smoke coming through when a splash of water is added. The sweetness is a bit tamed as well, whereas more fruit - apricots in particular, as well as spiced oak and pepper arrive on the nose. Significantly tamed warmth on the palate with a delicate mix of oak spice, pepper, and sweet notes of vanilla and caramel. A touch of honey lingers with gentle wood smoke towards the finish. The finish is medium-long and significantly dry with prickling oak and tender honey on the tail.
Comments: A real buster from the Highlands! This is a robust, potent, young but nicely drinkable single malt. The high alcohol content is well integrated leading to a rich and pleasantly warming mouthfeel. The discreet fruitiness and lovely vanilla sweetness is already well balanced with the warming spiciness coming from the American oak. Not necessarily water needed. A well-knitted character - I am quite impressed. Well done folks!
I thank The Barreliers for the sample and the photograph!
Ardmore 4yo, 2011-2016, C&S Dram Collection
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: C&S Dram
Cask type: Bourbon Barrel (#804208, 260 btl.)
Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Lots of cereal notes with a massive load of alcohol which, surprisingly, isn't pungent at all. Behind that there's a touch of apricots and peaches with a lovely touch of peat in the back.
Palate: Deliciously sweet on the palate with barley sugar and cereal notes. Then the alcohol becomes very present. Once this intensely warmth fades, lovely fruity hints of apricots and peaches emerge, lingering with tender peat and spiced oak towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is medium long, sweet with barley sugar and creamy with hints of vanilla and fruit. Becomes slightly dry towards the end with a whiff of peaty notes.
With water: There's more malty flavours coming through by adding some drops of water. The alcoholic bite is significantly tamed while more vanilla emerges. Lovely sweet and fruity on the palate with more apricots and peaches, followed by vanilla and a pleasant warmth caused by the alcohol. Cereal notes and hints of cloves and peat towards the finish. The finish is medium long, subtle sweet and creamy with a significantly dry end.
Comments: This is a lively, very young but already drinkable and quite delicate Highland single malt. The high alcohol content is already good integrated leading to a pleasant warming mouthfeel. This young whisky shows a lovely filigree fruitiness of peaches and apricots which is balanced with the subtle but pleasantly noticeable Ardmore peatiness. I enjoyed it very much.
I thank Caminneci - Wine & Spirit Partner for sample and photograph!