I have to admit that for quite a while, I'd assumed that Ardmore was one of those made-up distilleries that independent bottlers use when they're not allowed to admit where a whisky has come from. To my Islay-obsessed eyes, this was clearly a not-so-subtle nod to Ardbeg.
Of course, the 'Ard' prefix crops up all over Scotland so it's not at all surprising that Ardmore is actually from the Highlands, on the opposite side of the country!
Ardmore 10 Year Old Batch 1 is a 55.5% ABV, very pale whisky.
The nose is light and sweet; freshly cut hay and freshly cut peat take you straight to the Scottish countryside. As it sits in the glass a richer, buttery dimension appears - Werther's Original in a glass.
Watered, it becomes a little maltier and there's even a little heavy oil lurking.
In the mouth it's sweet and spicy; buttered gingerbread and a nice warming bonfire in the background. Water turns the spice down a touch, and emphasises a brown sugar sweetness that puts me in mind of a good bourbon.
Very tasty, and definitely a distillery I need to explore more thoroughly. 4.5 stars.
Many thanks to Master Of Malt for providing their That Boutique-y Whisky Company Advent Calendar this year.
This review was originally published 11th December, 2016. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.