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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ardmore Triple Wood

In their attempt to fashion Ardmore like its southern sibling Laphroaig, Beam Suntory gave it a matching expression with the same name: Triple Wood. Laphroaig Triple Wood is the least Laphroaigy Laphroaig (though I've yet to try the loathed Select), thus my concern about them dressing up another young spirit in three layers of oak.

Distillery: Ardmore
Ownership: Beam Suntory
Region: Highlands (Eastern)
Age: NAS, thus it's a minimum of 3 years old
Maturation: "American Oak barrels, quarter casks and puncheons"
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? probably
(from a purchased sample)

The color is light gold with a greenish tint. The nose begins with band-aids and tropical fruit punch, then there's oregano, disinfectant and calamine lotion. LOTS of peat. Vanilla bean and apricot jam = hamantaschen? The peat strikes hard in the palate as well, showing up as dark, gritty, bitter smoke. And moss. Not all is darkness though. There are bananas and fresh ginger, as well as hints of prunes and fruit juice. The finish is the least sweet part of the package. It's all smoke, soil and ginger.

DILUTED TO ~40%abv, or < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Peat, eucalyptus and pine sap on the nose. The quarter casks start barging in as the smell of new oak wafts up. Bitter smoke, smoked meat, peppercorns and simple syrup on the palate. It finishes warmer, more acidic and very smoky.

Three notes I wrote at the bottom of the page:
--It kinda works
--Peatier than Laphroaig Triple Wood?
--No water please

When I tried Ardmore Triple Wood side-by-side with the carpentry-free Aultmore 12yo I liked them equally, even though they're so very different. This Ardmore surprised me, especially with its big crazy nose.

It's not an easy whisky, and I normally don't complain about that. But it comes in 1 liter bottles only, and I can't see getting through even half that quantity without getting tired of it. It also left me wondering what a puncheon (alone) of modern Ardmore would taste like. How about it, Ardmore? I'm just going to keep chucking ideas at you, Distillery, until I run out of bad ones.

Availability - Travel retail and a few dozen European shops
Pricing - $50-$60 for 1000mL
Rating - 83 (no water please)

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