Several weeks ago I was part of a Twitter tasting panel which looked at 4 different expressions of Ardmore. I was a big fan of the Ardmore Traditional so was saddened to see it discontinued. You can catch up with my thoughts on this whisky here.
Lets hope that these new expressions are worthy successors…
The Ardmore Legacy (available here)
On the nose there is a sweet smoke with honey and allspice and traces of marzipan or Battenberg cake. The palate is lightly smoky with brine initially, but fades to a pleasant dryness with notes of citrus pepper and some woodiness. The finish is perhaps a little short but not unpleasant. Last nights bonfire on the beach?
The Ardmore Tradition (travel retail only)
The nose is much lighter than the Legacy. Dry, spiced and peated apples are prominent along with what I can only describe as a tinge of rubber. The palate is very unlike the nose. It is earthy, damp and almost creamy with burnt vanilla, nutmeg and a slight phenol note all wrapped up in wet leaves. The finish is slightly longer than the Legacy, which leaves you with a lingering damp smoke and the now familiar apple note.
The Ardmore Triple Wood (travel retail only)
This one ‘feels’ heavier, almost a syrupy feel. Green fruit, pineapple, green apples, ginger biscuits and definitely the sweetest nose so far. The palate is smoky initially. Peppery brine, smoked caramel, dark chocolate, biscuit, ginger and tea notes are wrapped up in a much heavier and more prominent mouthfeel. This is definitely better at 46% abv. much more crisp, full bodied and punchy. The finish is long and lingering with spice and brine appearing through the smoke. Definitely my favourite and the most complex so far.
The Ardmore Portwood
This Ardmore expression is matured for 12 years in American Oak Bourbon barrels before being finished in European Port Pipes. The nose is woody with big notes of strawberry, cinnamon, oranges cloves some green wood and the signature Ardmore apples. The palate is almost orangey with red grape, toast, red berries and a nice thick feel. The finish is fresh and a little peppery with some savoury notes appearing at the end.
As ever the Twitter tastings were masterfully orchestrated by Steve at The Whisky Wire.
Thanks also to Ardmore for the samples and to all the other ‘tweet tasters’ involved on the night.