I’ve got a very special whisky to review today. This is the whisky I chose to drink while getting ready for my wedding!
Just while me and my best man were getting ready, I cracked this baby open, mainly due to the name (which couldn’t really have been more perfect for the occasion!) and because cask strength Ardmore is really growing on me.
This whisky has been a great education in something tasting very different depending on the occasion though.
On the day of the wedding this was utterly incredible. Oily, smoky, and balanced. Coming back now, with less emotional baggage it is great still but the nose is lacking when neat.
Ardmore 2004 SMWS 66.75 ‘David Faces up to Goliath’ 59.3%
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: Quite different to how I remember it on my wedding day. Young and brash, quite ethereal and somewhat spirity actually with green apple, lemon juice, quite sour, young mineral smoke, some sea water too. Noses much younger than 11 years. Oh, some samphire and a little moss too.
Water: More lemon juice, with just a touch of vanilla. The nose rewards a bit of water and some warming up in your hands- Now I can get this ashy, chimney soot note with a bit of dried banana.
Taste: Sweet to start, lovely arrival, with ethereal fruit then big smoky notes. Mineral, wood smoke and ashes. Sea water and lemon juice make a great salty/sour combo all through the development. Not hugely complex, but what is there is great.
Water: Amazingly balanced arrival now, then building smoke and sour lemon, very sour actually, with much more spice now. Green peppercorns, stem ginger, some black liquorice. Nice oily mouthfeel. Development is unbalanced now though.
Finish: Long length. Starts with a complex mix of mineral smoke and herbal mint, then goes into lemon and lime cough sweets, more lemon juice too, squeezed over mineral slate? Don't want to get too poetic, great finish.
Bottled at 11 years old from a refill Bourbon barrel. To be certain about my score, I compared this to another recent purchase, a G&M Ardmore from 2002, and the G&M wins outright.
87/100 (Wedding Day)
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Review #428
Whisky Network Review #477
Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 22
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.