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Friday, January 27, 2023

Ardmore 22 year old 2000 WhiskySponge, edition 69

(Ardmore cluster homepage)

It's time to finish up this cluster with its second dark sherry cask Ardmore. As I'd mentioned in the G&M cask review, I tend to prefer bourbon cask Ardmores, but that sherried hoggie was awesome. Today's whisky had a different life. It spent its final two years in a sherry butt, and the first 20 in at least two refill hogsheads. Thus, it's a single cask that really isn't. But is it good?

Distillery: Ardmore
Region: Highlands (Eastern)
Independent Bottler: WhiskySponge
Age: 22 years (1997 - 2022)
Maturation: 20 years in hogshead, two years in a first fill sherry butt
Outturn: 541 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 54.2%
(from a bottle split)


The nose arrives with an oaky California pinot noir note. Once the red wine slips away, the cask remains. Butter, raspberry jam, almond butter and a hint of pipe tobacco fill the front and middle; cinnamon, brown sugar and a touch of tar in the back. There's less sweetness on the palate than expected, more walnuts and roots (a good thing IMHO). Dark chocolate, almond butter and metal develop with time. It becomes earthier and bitterer too. Lots of dark chocolate, mint leaves and roots in the finish. A little bit of smoke and oranges as well.

DILUTED to 46%abv, or 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Nuts, butter, orange peel and toffee in the nose. The palate has become almost all bitter roots and earth, with a touch of berry sweetness in the background. The finish is more dusty than smoky, with smaller notes of bitterness and mint candy.


Though it's far from matching the aforementioned Gordon & MacPhail cask, this Ardmore works well in its own way. The palate has its act together, as opposed to the.....extremely contemporary-styled nose. There aren't many reviews of these two WhiskySponge Ardmores online — the Whiskybase folks have barely touched it and Whiskyfun hasn't said anything — so I'll reference Good Sir Opinions again. As he noted, the finishing cask seems to have covered up most/all of the Ardmore element of this Ardmore. Luckily the result is nutty and earthy. Thus this is an Ardmore for sherry cask fans rather than Ardmore fans.

Availability - Still available as of the date of this post
Pricing - £235
Rating - 86

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