This is a 16 year Ardmore that was matured in a refill sherry hogshead, selected by Binny’s, and bottled by G&M at 55.5% ABV.
Nose: Fruity sherry with a bit of a sulphur note – bananas, caramelized apples, glazed donuts, and some gunflint.
Palate: Sherry takes a spicy turn with red pepper flakes and nutmeg – oak presents quite dry with tart apples dusted with cinnamon.
Finish: Turns heavily herbal as sherry fades rapidly. Spicy peppers remain on tip of tongue as musty oak takes hold in the rear palate.
Rating: 87/100 – One of the spicier sherried expressions I’ve tried which results in a nice contrasting profile.
Value for the money: This retailed for $100 at Binny’s which is a pretty fair price for what you get.
This is an 11 year Ardmore from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society that was aged in what I presume is an ex-bourbon cask and bottled at 58% ABV.
Nose: Subtle peat, mild brine, very faint oak. A very mild nose all around.
Palate: Wow – everything about this dram so far is just dialed down to about 25% power. Fresh oak, slight smoke, and bitter herbs. It was a struggle just to pull something out of it.
Finish: Dry with just a bit of heat remaining as any semblance of taste disappears instantly.
Rating: 72/100 – Odd, I’ve never had such a plain, watered down tasting dram (especially at cask strength). I spent a long time with this one just seeing if it needed time to open up. It’s not bad per se, it’s just not good.
Value for the money: This came with my SMWS membership kit, but I’m glad I didn’t pay anything for this directly. I wouldn’t recommend buying it at any price.
This is a cask strength Ardmore 16 from Gordon & MacPhail which is bottled at 57.34% ABV.
Nose: Light malt with lavendar, damp oak, dried grass, and floral notes
Palate: Heavy cinnamon and pepper seasoned oak, bright malt with some old hay – sort of reminds me of a non-sherried Mortlach
Finish: Dry and hot with oak and sugary malt lingering
Rating: 84/100 – no frills dram that presents a slight farm style. Would be interesting to see what a sherry finish would do for this dram.
Value for the money: I was told this was around $90 retail which is too high in my opinion – I’d like to see it a bit closer to $50.