Not long ago I tried the Laphroaig Brodir which is a Port finished peated whisky. It wasn’t a successful experiment so we gonna try similar whisky from the lesser known member in the Beam Suntory protfolio: Ardmore.
Ardmore is under a strong marketing and branding push in the last few years, a process which intensified under Suntory Beam hands. A couple of new releases were released in 2015 and the latest of them is the one we review today, the Ardmore 12 yo Port Wood Finish.
This whisk was matured in American oak ex-bourbon casks before finished in Port Pipes. So let’s check if they did here a better job than Laphroaig did on Brodir.
Ardmore 12 Year Old Port Wood Finish (46%, £45.75/€54,95)
Nose: Very gentle peat and sweet smoke. It’s pretty clean (as befitting highlands peated whisky) with a clean profile. It’s definitely not Islay! Berries jam, strawberries, tarty and winey with dry feeling, there’s the original casks impact lurking down there with honey. With time the smoke is a bit sharper and we have some spiciness. More wine and strawberries and getting lighter and fresher.
Palate: Earthy and clean soft peat, rich and sweet red berries and strawberries slowly turning into sour candies , vanilla and honey and wood smoke at the background.
Finish: Medium length, warm and soft tingling spice, wood smokes is presents and more prominent than the palate, wine dryness and tannins.
Thoughts: What didn’t work for Laphroaig with Brodir, works here for Ardmore. A peated whisky with port finish that feels and tastes like a true whisky. Oh, did we mention that the price is good and so it’s a great VFM whisky? It could be that mainland peat is more fitting to Port treatment? Or it could be that sometimes it’s the small boys that rises to the occasion the best.