The next sample from Gordon & Macphail ‘The wood makes the whisky’ is Ardmore 1996. The sample didn’t have bottling date so we do not know the exact age, but if we go by the assumption it’s the latest release, then it was most likely bottled in 2013 so the age statement is 16yo, just double the age of the Bunna I reviewed on Thursday.
The Ardmore was matured in Sherry Refill Hogsheads while the Bunnahabhain was matured in Refill Sherry Butts, so we have much more wood contact with the spirit and it spent double the time period so we should expect substantial increase in the sherry influence.
Nose: Sweet and rich sherry impact: dried berries, stewed fruit and prunes and it’s bordering fruit compote. The peat is very subdued with delicate tingling smoke in the background. After a few minutes in the glass, the sherry impact is getting lighter while the smokiness stays at a steady level and we get to sniff some grilled red apples and even some spicy menthol. further on it gets some perfume edge and citrus.
Palate: Smoke, cured meat, sweet stewed red apples, dry, spicy with pepper, nutmeg and a dash of menthol, underlying crisp sweet peat.
Finish: Medium length, stewed fruit, pepper, smoke and charred wood
Thoughts: Not a bad whisky but at the same time it’s nothing special. The extra years and the cask type left their mark and we have more sherry notes and less peat than in the 8yo Bunna. Overall it’s a solid dry and sherried Ardmore.