About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


We're moving to the East Highlands for this next review...

There's just a few active distilleries out here, Macduff up north near the coast, then Glendronach at Forgue, Glen Garioch in Old Meldrum and Ardmore from where the whisky in this next review is from. These last 3 distilleries is not far from the 'east gate' to Dufftown - the town of Huntly - only some 20 miles in fact.... and Ardmore is just some 6 miles (10km) south of Huntly, in Kennethmont.

Though a lot of people tend to focus on the closed distilleries of this region since stock is disappearing fast and some of it have proved to be excellent whisky - especially with prolonged maturation. Distilleries like Lochside and Glenury Royal, Glenugie have proven excellent - sadly long after they were closed. Others closed East Highland distilleries are Glen Esk (Hillside), North Port (Brechin) where the producing Glencadam distillery is also located.

Anyway, back to Ardmore Distillery which is one of the consistently peated highland whiskies and often overlooked by many. It's not as aggressive as many other peated whiskies - even some of the ones from Speyside... and certainly not the ones from Islay - but it can still show its teeth although with a different style of peat - highland style...

So whats the difference you ask? it's quite simple, actually, once you think about it... Oh, and don't worry - I'll save you the big botanical and geography lesson here. The peat from i.e. the west coast of Scotland is made up different botanicals than the highland peat and sometimes - at least on the Scottish islands it's often raised seabeds that the peat is dug on.
This means that the peat on the west coast is made up of old sea bed botanicals like seaweed (often associated with medicinal qualities) rather than the Highland peat which consists of traditional mainland flora like i.e. heather and moss. Quite simple when you think about it, isn't it? :-)

Right, time for the Ardmore write-up... btw, did you that the stills at Ardmore were coal fired as late as 2002? Cool, you say? yes, but the stills at Glendronach was coal fired as late as 2005!

Ardmore 2002 66.36 (17.07.2002/xx.09.2012) 10yo 'Milano Salami and a tropical fruit kebab' 58,2% refill sherry butt, 702 bottles, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Colour is mahogany

Highland peat, not medicinal, but a more flowery style.
Hint of rubber, balsamico, mint, tobacco and truckloads of herbs and tomato grill sauce

Light peat, menthol, old cigar box, bitter oloroso sherry, fruit, dark rum and dried herbs - even salt!

A very different expression from what you'd expect - another fun dram from the SMWS!


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