Monday, May 13, 2013

Ardmore Traditional Scotch Whisky Review: Another Meaty Malt

Some whiskies are made to be consumed as they are – a pure unadulterated piece of craftsmanship. Others are produced with the intention of being blended with other whiskies – to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Yet every so often the latter kinds of whiskies are produced in such a way that they break free from their sole use as a blending devise. Every so often during the early stages of a distilleries conception, the producers discover that they are creating something which can hold its own among other single malts, while at other times it takes years for a label to break free of blender status. It was such with Ardmore, taking almost a century from its beginnings to finally being released as a single malt. Founded by the Teacher’s Family in the late 1800s, the Ardmore Distillery was originally produced to be used as a fundamental malt for the Teacher’s blends. As was traditional back in the day with most Speysider and Highland malts, Ardmore was peated around 12-14ppm (for reference Talisker on Skye is currently around 18-20pm). That being said, the times of peaty Speysiders is long gone, leaving Ardmore as a bit of an exception.

Today we are looking at the core “Traditional” expression. Non-chill filtered and peated with no age statement, but made of mostly ex-bourbon cask from around six to thirteen years old. Once the malt has been vatted, the whisky is then filled into quarter cask for one more year of maturing and finishing. 

Ardmore Traditional Scotch Whisky Review:

Price: Around $41.00 for a 750ml bottle.

Packaging/Labeling: Nothing to write home about, but the bottle is informational, clean and modern, which means I can’t complain.

Alcoholic Content: 46% abv, 92 proof – not bad!

Nose: A creamy and full nose. Peat and smoked fish. Well balanced and tight with strawberry malt flavors. The meatiness and the more softer notes blend very well together.

Palate: The nose is quite indicative of what’s to come. A buttery palate coats the tongue where it releases all its sweet and savory juiciness. There is a nice little spicy vanilla kick on entry, ending on the back with peaty sweetness. I do feel that some of the younger cask come through on the end palate allowing, in my mind, a bit too much green-ness.

Conclusion: Unintentionally this is another unusual whiskey for where it is located. This is not nearly as fantastic as the Mortlach but it is a unique and solid single malt that can easily be found in the US, unlike the former. If you are looking for some similar single malts look either at Bowmore (with a higher ppm of around 25), or across the way in Ireland, at Connemara Peated 12 Year Old. Ultimately really enjoyed this expression of Ardmore and you won’t be let down with a purchase of it yourself I’m sure.


  1. Very good review. I like Ardomre also!

    I was worried there for a minute that it was a blended whisky, glad you explained that it isnt.

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, and even more that you enjoy the whisky. I think it's a really great expression, that deserves its place in the spotlight.

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