Ardmore 100th Anniversary 12 year old, 40%

Price: $155.00 Issue: Spring 2011 Reviewer: Dominic Roskrow

This isn't quite a distillery-only bottling so much as a bottle only available at the distillery — which isn't exactly the same thing. Bottled more than 10 years ago to mark the distillery's centenary, incredibly a small amount is still available, and it is well worth pursuing.

Until relatively recently Ardmore was an industry secret, cherished by those in the know. But the peaty and feisty no-age-statement Ardmore Traditional has introduced the malt to a new generation of drinkers, and last year's sweet and fruity 25 year old suggested that the distillery has a potentially diverse range of future treasures to be excited about. This bottling is light, soft, sweet, and juicy. Orange flavors and peat team up to steer a middle way for what is a delicious and highly more-ish malt. Its only flaw is in the finish, which dies away too quickly for this palate. Perhaps a slightly higher strength would have improved it. No matter, it's like the fade out of the guitar solo at the end of your favorite track; it's a bit frustrating because you want it to go on and on, but it doesn't stop you going back and listening to it all again.