Monday, 20 June 2011

Ardmore Traditional Cask

Spirit Name: Ardmore Traditional Cask

Category: Scotch
Country:  Scotland
Region: Speyside
ABV: 46%
Price range: 750ml $44.95 CDN
Nose: Earthy peat, minerals and sweet thick rich malt.  Spirity nose from the higher ABV.
Taste:  Damn this is good stuff.  Tangy hot pepper with the sweetness of ripe orchard fruits.  Smoke and earthy peat.  Not an island peat because there is no salty island flavours to accompany the peat.  The peat levels are significant but not like the big 3 Islay malts.  Think more like Bowmore, Talisker or Jura Superstition levels.  This malt is think and oily.  The mouth feel is awesome, slides on your tongue.  This is so thick you could stand a straw up in it!  Damn I’m really liking this flavour package.  No wonder its the backbone of Teacher’s Highland Cream.
Finish:  Hot, spicy and long.  Pleasant peat hangs on as smoke curls up your nose.
Would I buy it again: Yup, I’ve already got two bottles.
Would I recommend it to a friend:  Yes, already have. 
Worthy as a daily dram:  The best taste-to-price ratio of any Scotch on the market.  This is a frigin’ cracker!
Collection worthy:  Yes, buy two.
Comments:  This is the most enjoyable dram I’ve had in this price range.  Its almost too cheap for how good it is.  I wouldn’t hesitate to run right out and nab a bottle.  Its a peat, smoke, and sweet malt clinic.  An education in a glass.  Here is what it says on the bottle:
“Founded in 1898 by one of Scotland’s most famous whisky families, Ardmore Single Malt has a long commitment to quality.  William Teacher was a believer in traditional distilling methods and insisted that Ardmore only use the aromatic smoke from natural, Highland peat fires to dry our malted barely.
Sadly today, the high cost has meant that only one Highland Distillery still routinely fully ‘peats’ its standard malt.  Ardmore is rightly proud to be that distillery.  Our traditional methods extend to maturation.  Ardmore Traditional Cask is double matured, first in the more usual oak barrels, and then in much smaller ‘Quarter Casks’.  These were common in the 19th century, but are too costly for most distillers to use today.
Finally, bottled at 46% ABV, Ardmore is only barrier rather than chill filtered thus preserving the natural flavours.  These methods ensure we maintain the quality of our uniquely complex and rewarding malt whisky.”

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