...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Ardmore 24 year old 1985 SMWS 66.30

Speaking of SMWS......how about three SMWS Ardmores from three decades this week?

Since I know you're keeping track of every single post, you have obviously noticed I have been out of character, ignoring my Ardmore Fanboy #1 role, when reviewing actual Ardmores. I've given a grand total of ONE Ardmore a 90-point mark. Don't think that I have not noticed this. Though my parent brain has fully calcified, and I often have to pee in front of an audience, I have not shed my conjoined twin, Self Consciousness. Perhaps I have to review more Ardmores, or better Ardmores. Or maybe I should open up my closed hoarded imprisoned Ardmores. Meh. I'll just review more Ardmores.

I received this sample from the very generous Teemu of Whisky Science during a sample swap. That previous sentence was also used for this humbling Yoichi. He spoiled me.

Distillery: Ardmore (SMWS 66)
Ownership: Beam Suntory
Region: Highlands (Eastern)
Independent Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
'Quirky' name: An outdoor banquet
Age: 24 years (March 1985 - 2019)
Maturation: refill hogshead
Cask#: 66.30
Outturn: 244
Alcohol by Volume: 52.5%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No
(from a sample swap)

The nose begins with a nice unromantic combination of hay, ocean water, toasted grains and a hint of honey. A slight yeastiness then eases in, followed by notes of plaster and rosewater. After 30+ minutes white peaches roll in, followed by a fig confection. Its autumn palate offers hay, dried leaves, dried rose petals, soil and a slight bitter rootiness (or rooty bitterness). After a good long time in the glass, the whisky picks up a squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. It finishes with salt, earth, soot and savory herbs. Little bits of flowers and olive oil in the background.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, < 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Ah, the nose gains a whiff of that beach bonfire note I love so. More peaches and citrus as well, with hints of ash, fig and ocean in the back. The palate gets leaner. Salt, soot, tart off-season nectarines register first, followed by hints of flower kiss candy and horseradish. The finish actually sweetens, getting a bit floral, almost creamy. But sea salt and kelp keep things from getting too crazy.

Thanks to the extremely-refill hoggie and austere (oh that word) spirit, this Ardmore shows itself to be the opposite of a modern whisky. With its fruit and smoke, the nose offers up the most flair, while the palate never cracks a smile. That's okay, everything can't be "fun" and "delicious". We're all serious adults here. Joy is for silly people.

Also I like the palate, and the whole thing gets better with a little water. It almost gets me to Silly.

Availability - ???
Pricing - ???
Rating - 88 with water

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