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A 1996 Ardmore bottled from a single cask by Berry Bros & Rudd, in celebration of The Whisky Show: Old & Rare 2018. This is sooty, citrusy and 'a perfect, characterful whisky to share with friends'.Tasting Notes (2)
Tasting notes by Angus MacRaild and Serve Valentin, Whiskyfun.com:
Pretty sharp at first nosing, a little aggressive from the high alcohol. Rose petals, bubblegum and icing sugar, also peaches (which Serge says he finds often in Ardmore), patchouli, cigarette tobacco (I rather get menthol cigarettes), a little bergamot, lime zest and, as Serge points out, eau de toilette for men (he’s splashing it on his chin as I type - no sign of the girls yet...). Opens up rather nicely with a bit of breathing, notes of maraschino and white cherries emerge, and I find a little coal dust and barley sugar along with some green pepper. With water: sweet smoked barley, muddy barnyard, frying pancetta, some more lime juice, watercress, cut grass and chopped parsley.
oily, fat and robust. Smoked honey, thick barley water, peach syrup, lime, olive oil, some camphor. Serge says avocado purée (I think there are some leftovers from lunch in his moustache), we both agree it’s far more approachable on the palate when neat compared to the nose which is a bit more tough up front. Rather lovely syrupy qualities with agave nectar and notes of warm lemsip (you can tell I’ve had a cold recently). Serge adds All Bran (perhaps there are remnants of breakfast in there too?) With water: bitter orange juice with manzanilla, two green olives (add one black one from me), Serge requests no gin please, but you could make a great dry Martini with this Ardmore (maybe even an ‘emergency’ one). Goes on with more soot, fresh butter, assorted herbs and a little ashy peat. Really excellent.
quite long, again sooty, oily and a little salty, more liquorice, angelica root and a touch of turmeric. Some shoe polish in the aftertaste
Simplistic in some places - such as the nose - but rather beautiful in others, such as the palate. A perfect, characterful whisky to share with friends and not have to think too deeply about it.
Four and a half stars
Tasting notes from the producer
This dram's aroma is a smoky fusion of Cullen skink, soot and bonfire ash balanced with Ardmore's trademark zesty citrus notes. The palate opens with a burst of lemon oil, followed by earthy peat, hessian cloth and waves of wood smoke. The finish is superlative with an unexpected tropical, mineralic character lingering alongside some smoke. An exceptional, old fashioned dram.
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