...where distraction is the main attraction.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Bottle Revisited: Ardmore 1991-2013 Malts of Scotland, Rum Barrel

It was time to put an end to this bottle after fifteen months. There are two reasons why an Ardmore would stay open in my home for fifteen months. Either A.) it was so glorious that I needed to stretch out the goodness as long possible or B.) everything else was more tempting to pour. For this bottle, the answer was not A.).

Hold on a moment, I need to address my expectations. Expectations, how could you be so influenced by other people's reviews? We've had many talks about this. Let's just assume that every Ardmore bottle going forward will be bad, like Cutty bad. You hear me? Stay small.

Sorry, I had to do that. I was led to believe this Ardmore's rum cask influence was very minor. I was misinformed. Rum can be great. Ardmore can be great. Now leave Ardmore the fuck alone already. The end. Here's my final pour.

Distillery: Ardmore
Region: Highlands (Eastern)
Independent Bottler: Malts of Scotland
Age: ~22 years old (March 1991 - March 2013)
Maturation: Rum barrel
Casks: 13018
Alcohol by Volume: 53.8%
(from the bottom of my bottle)

Ashy peat, apples, limes and mint leaf start the nose. Then comes the sugary rum and olive juice. Then flowers and metals. The palate is very very ashy, with olive juice, lime juice and an ashy sweet rum. Something doughy is going on in the midground, and it's all getting increasingly tangy. It finishes with hot sauce heat and ash. Lemon sour candy. Kind of a light-style Hampden.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or 1⅔ tsp water per 30mL whisky
The ashy peat recedes slightly in the nose, leaving olives, limes, dijon mustard, saline and floral perfume. The palate's still ashy, though less sweet. Pickled ume, black pepper and limes. More pepper, less ash in the finish. More sour fruits and a little bit of sweetness.

The rum cask is as subtle as a shavasana fart, without half the thrill. It took a lot of effort not to write notes like, "Rum nose. Rum palate. Rum finish." Also, I don't mind an ash note, though it's one of the least pleasing characteristics peating provides. But I blame the cask for highlighting it and kicking it forward. Dilution improves matters both rummy and ashy, and I wish I had explored that further, earlier. It's not a bad whisky, but it's not what I thought I was buying. Thus ends the complaint. The next review will be *SPOILER ALERT* happier.

Availability - sold out
Pricing - €99 in 2013
Rating - 81 (diluted)