Ardmore 12 Year Old Port Wood Finish

Sometimes I buy a bottle and look forward to opening it. On opening I savor and taste each dram enjoying noticing the changes in the whisky as the bottle goes down. This time I missed out of that opportunity. More on that later…

The Distillery

The ardmore distillery is a large Victorian distillery in the Aberdeen-shire area of the Highlands. Located right on the railway line to maximise efficiency in 1898 when the distillery was built.

Ardmore has always been a mass producer distillery for the blended market. The teachers blend using the slightly peated malt quite heavily is the most obvious destination for Ardmore. This has lead to very few official bottlings with Beam Suntory being the first to market the brand when it bought both it and Laphroaig in 2006.

Single cask bottles of Ardmore do appear from Independent bottlers fairly regularly like the bottle I reviewed from Claxton’s at the beginning of the year. Claxton’s Ardmore 8 Year Old for A Dram A Day which is still available to buy with proceeds going to charity.

The Dram

The Ardmore 12 Port finish has spent most of its life in ex bourbon casks with a final , potentially short, finishing in a port pipe. The colour of the whisky has a reddish hue to it which may or may not be natural. What is natural though is the craft bottling technique of 46% ABV and no chill-filtration. The bottle was released in 2015 and is widely available in most specialist whisky retailers for £46

Tasting Notes

Colour – Reddish glow

Nose – slightly sharp red fruits like raspberries and under ripe strawberries. An acidic tartness but not an alcoholic sharpness. Smoked hardwood is there but understated.

Palate – The mouth texture is thick and waited. The original oak is more obvious with the expected vanilla and cinnamon buns. A dirty smokiness is again very understated.

Finish – Quite a short finish with some cherries and earthy notes. Mostly though I can taste a bourbon cask of vanilla, honey and cinnamon.

Final Thoughts

I think the take away point here is that the port finishing  has just left a thin coating over the whisky. The fresh red fruit notes from the port cask are not well integrated into the whisky and will evaporate over time. I however, will never get to find that out for myself as in the time between making notes on the whisky and writing this review my bottle was stolen when my house was broken in to.

I am happily going to buying another bottle so I think that counts as a recommendation!

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