Next up in our North Star Discovery was another from their inaugural series… this time from Ardmore. We’ve not come across much Ardmore in our whisky explorations – my only brush has been a speed sniff and swish of the Ardmore 1997 45% (G&MP). at Whisky Live Singapore at the Gordon & MacPhail booth.
Ardmore Peat 8 year (June 2008 / Oct 2016) 58.7% 1 of 198 bottles
- Nose – PEAT, oily, sulfer, soapy, capsules… like walking into a doctor’s or chemist shop, iodine, steam engine, musty… then started to shift character revealing waves and waves of cinnamon, plums, mosambi juice, dark juicy fruits, black cherry, cinnamon apple juice, sour cherries…. kept evolving shifting from fruits to a slightly oily soot, like sacred ash, then a bit lactic, old flowers like malas after a day or so… then dark chocolate… and yet another element revealing such a delicious BBQ honey bacon, lots of smoked meats, light tar… followed by coffee, creamy yoghurt… an absolutely unbelievable nose
- Palate – Sweet roaring spice, lots of sweet peat, stewed chewy fruits, then sweet meats and BBQ. Has good body, lots of character, oodles of spice yet still beautifully balanced between all the elements.
- Finish – Chocolate cinnamon with a slight orange zest with a “hold” that really stays… dry
- Water – Brilliant with! Becomes so sweet, lovely honey bacon with a mandarin perfume twist on the nose, silky smooth with a lovely rolling cinnamon sweet on the palate and fantastic finish.
We began to speculate, while it clearly had peat, we thought it wasn’t an obvious Islay dram, yet still likely Scottish. It has a gentle peat quality, pronounced, firmly there but with a subtle hand.
Thinking about the cask, we wondered about french oak? Something that gives a good kick like the way the virgin oak does for Spice Tree.
Again we guessed cask strength and absolutely loved the way water gave it even more “something.”
One remarked that it was a bit “naughty” in the nicest possible way…
Could any of us pick out that it was Ardmore! Not a chance… and that too from a new independent bottler? Impossible.
Which made the reveal all the more enjoyable.
And what about the official tasting notes?
- Nose: Delicate peat, smoked meats & iodine
- Palate: Sweet fruit juices & smoke from a BBQ
- Finish: A great balance of savoury, smoke & chocolate orange
What were we fortunate to sample in our introductory North Star Trilogy?
- North Star’s Cask Series 001 – Glenrothes 20 year (Oct 1996/Oct 2016) 54.6% 1 of 252 bottles
- North Star’s Cask Series 001 – Ardmore Peat 8 year (June 2008 / Oct 2016) 58.7% 1 of 198 bottles
- North Star’s Cask Series 002 – Islay 8 year (June 2008 / May 2017) 58.3% 1 of 230 bottles
Unfortunately North Star bottles fly off the online “shelves” quickly!
You can also find even more Whisky bits ‘n bobs on: