Review: Ardmore 1996 – Distillery Labels

Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Ardmore Distillery

Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail – Distillery Labels

ABV: 43%

Cost: £61.84 from Master of Malt

Score: 85/100

ardmore-1996-bottled-2013-gordon-and-macphail-whisky

What they say:

COLOUR

Dark Gold.

Body

Medium.

Finish

Long, smooth with hint of smoke.

Cask Type

Refill Sherry Hogsheads.

Style

Robust Highland Single Malt.

Tasting Note

AROMA without water

Rich Sherry influences with hints of stewed fruits and charred oak. A delicate smokiness develops in the background.

TASTE without water

Black pepper initially with green apple and ripe banana flavours. An underling peat smoke edge lingers.

AROMA with water

Hints of beeswax polish, red apple and plum initially. Complimented by a lingering menthol edge.

TASTE with water

Black cracked pepper with sweet strawberry and orange flavours. Complimented by cinnamon and a delicate trace of charred oak.

Ardmore 1996 (bottled 2013) (Gordon & MacPhail)

What I say:

Sampled as part of Gordon & MacPhail’s ‘The Wood Makes The Whisky’ Campaign. Thanks to Gordon & MacPhail for the official sample. Distilled in 1996 at the Ardmore Distillery and bottled in 2013 after ~ 17 year maturation in refill sherry hogsheads.

Colour:

golden amontillado amber (10/20) numerous medium tears leave medium-fine legs

Nose:

Sweet and fruity, apples, pears, oranges, peach, plum, vanilla, coconut, toffee, oak wood, fudge, butterscotch, molasses, beeswax, polish, wisps of smoke

Taste:

Oily and buttery, luxurious on the tongue, mellow fruit, peach melba, fruit cocktail – well integrated fruit flavours, fudge, leather, tannic tea, gentle peaty smoke and a touch of salted caramel.

Finish:

Medium-long, buttery and creamy highland fudge balanced with salt, peach and wispy smoke

Overall:

Possibly my most favourite Ardmore expression I have sampled. This is reserved and massively well-balanced with a great complexity presented in such a smooth and approachable palate. Very nice.