Whisky Advocate

Guest Review: Ardmore, 25 year old, 51.4%, $195

August 11th, 2010

Ardmore is a rising star in the world of single malt. Until four years ago it was little known in its own right, its main purpose being as a key malt in Teacher’s. Then Ardmore Traditional was released, and it’s been winning over drinkers ever since. That malt is a delicatessen whisky: smoky, oily, and savory, a unique Highland malt with much to recommend it. This is a different proposition altogether. It’s clean and sweet, with pineapple candy, dusty and almost incense-like spices, and a liberal dose of sweet peat. Some citrus notes, too. The peat holds out until the end with impressive effect. There’s talk of this becoming a permanent part of the Ardmore portfolio. Let’s hope so: it’s further proof that Ardmore is a very interesting distillery indeed. (Travel Retail and selected specialist whisky shops.) – Dominic Roskrow

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 83

15 Responses to “Guest Review: Ardmore, 25 year old, 51.4%, $195”

  1. Sounds interesting. I was VERY impressed with the Ardmore 30! I hope we see more expressions soon, Cheers.

    • brian bradley (brian47126) says:

      I tried the Ardmore 30 at Whiskey fest and and was blown away. I would easily rate it at a 95. I could not stomach the $400.00 price tag on that bad boy however. If it was around 200 to 250 I would have gladly purchased the bottle.

  2. James says:

    Distilleries such as Ardmore, the “lesser lights” of the Scotch whisky constellation, really intrigue me. Surprisingly, the Traditional was one of the very first malt whiskies I tasted but recently I managed to come by another expression from this little-known Highland distillery.
    Independent bottlers Douglas Laing have released (in the UK) 20cl single-cask “Advance Sample” bottles of distilleries such as Caol Ila, Mortlach, Royal Lochnagar and in this case Ardmore; all bottled at 50% ABV. Of the samples I have come across, all are from refill Bourbon casks. My 12-year-old Ardmore had the same savoury qualities and unusual peat notes of the Traditional.
    I spotted the new 25-year-old in The Whisky Shop, Dufftown. I think its fantastic that these distilleries of more modest profiles are daring to enter the boutique/deluxe arena. With an entry level malt doing so well for them, and now these new premium (non-NAS) expressions, they are genuine alternatives to the big boys and new frontiers, to boot. Unfortunately I haven’t the budget to reward their pluck personally.

  3. MrTH says:

    My very first thought was “$195 for an 83 whisky?” Damn, I hate thinking that way.

    • Mashbill says:

      Then don’t think that way, because it’s not really an “83 whiskey.” John’s palate and brain, on a particular day, with a particular bottle, decided to arbitrarily slap the number 83 on it. It means nothing more, nothing less. (And John, I mean no offense to your highly experienced palate when I say that.)

    • JWC says:

      I thought the same thing. However, what really surprised me was “There’s talk of this becoming a permanent part of the Ardmore portfolio. Let’s hope so: it’s further proof that Ardmore is a very interesting distillery indeed.” I am leaning more and more towards bourbon these days (whereas I drank mostly Scotch up until a few years ago) so I won’t be getting this bottle even if I had the chance. I guess you would be hard pressed to charge less for a 25 yo Scotch

      • JWC says:

        Forgot to add: I’m just looking forward to the new Parker’s Heritage wheated bourbon – 10 yo, $80 and a score of 93 =)

  4. Patrrick B. says:

    There has been a very good serie of Ardmore distilled in 1977 from several companies such as Cadenhead or Signatory that worth some attention (not to mention the 12 YO Centernary). The 25 YO is indeed a good dram and I would not tasting the 30 YO. Unfortunately, it is US only

  5. John Hansell says:

    When I was at the distillery a couple years ago, there was mostly young whisky. Ardmore was mostly used for blending, so they never saved stocks for longer aging. My guess is that a lot of these older releases are buy-backs from other companies–or private individuals. I know that was true for Laphroaig.

  6. Steffen Bräuner says:

    I had a few iny Ardmore’s and they were usually excellent whiskies.

    A 1977 Scott’s was awesome, quite peaty, it was probable a US release, also a ca. 11yo Cadenhead was more than worthy. It is now a disitllery where I am on a look out for indies

    I don’t really fancy the NAS OB

    Macdeffe

    • mongo says:

      i’ve had my eye on that 1977 scott’s for a few months–maybe i’ll move it up the purchase ladder now….

  7. Geroge Jetson says:

    Ardmore has been quietly relasing single malts for some many years now. The “official” bottling was done by G&M, with all of the things we love about those, 40% strength, chill-filtered and colored with ED150, screw cap bottles.

    Then the distillery released some wonderful centenary bottlings that I think were only duty-free. The very good and very affordable 12yo and the hard-to-find, pricey and spectacular 21yo. These releases were a sea change for Ardmore and eventually lead to the mass-production n.a.s. Traditional which is an excellent whisky for the price. Not many people may know that Ardmore was one of the first distilleries to use the 1/4 cask aging procedure that is now more associated with Laphraoig. Their mass-market botlings are a NCF @ 46% although I think they still use coloring.

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