Ardmore SMWS 66.82 “Gritty turned Pretty”

Ardmore SMWS 66.82.jpg

Thanks to /u/boyd86 for sharing a sample of this dram.

Starting to see vapour trails at this point. However my tongue still works, which my wife is happy about.

Ardmore. It feels like just a few weeks ago that I was recommending Ardmore to someone. I may have been drinking and forgot their name. Not where I was or anything, and I really don’t think they want to be mentioned right after I make a cunnilingus joke anyway.

None the less, I like Ardmore. They make a peated malt that tastes different, like BenRiach. And while there haven’t been many drams that they themselves have brought out as different, some IBs do show up every so often.

Case in point: This one was aged in Refill Gorda, aka the recent eyebrow raising cask of the local whisky group.

And no, not because the Gorda’s are our hated enemies or something. That’s a completely different group, and we don’t speak of them.

A Gorda is a 700 litre cask that was used originally in the American whiskey industry. It’s mostly used for marrying different whiskies in vatted or blended whiskies. So what happens when we stick Scotch in there?

As a comparison, a Hogshead is 225 litres, and a Butt is 500 litres.

Well we have less contact with the wood. And we can let it sit longer, and develop odd flavours.

This is my second gorda review, as it was pointed out I bought and reviewed another one, the Springbank SMWS 27.109 to me by other people who were pretty sure I was done.

Sadly I was. My next review will be a re-review, as I couldn’t write notes after this one.

Let’s see how this tastes then? Go out with a bang, as it were.

Price: $177.99

Region: Speyside

Age: 17 years

Outturn: 606

Date Distilled: March 1998

Cask Type: Refill gorda

Abv: 57.5%

Colour: 7.5YR 6/10

Nose: Cranberry, nutmeg, black pepper, grapefruit, sulphuric, peach skin

Fun moment when you realize you haven’t finished writing until after you post. Or what I just did now, and am now explaining my thoughts as quickly as possible.

Very fruity. Lots of spices. Quite a bit of sulphur as well. I’m attributing the spice to the peated nature of Ardmore, however the fruit is a left field throw to the head kinda moment.

Taste: Cherry, sulphur, papaya, anise cookies, cranberry

Again, quite fruity. Also, if you’re like Jim Murray, the space aliens have put sulphur here to scare you. Run man, run!

Lots of fruits. Can’t be understated. Probably the fruitiest Ardmore, assuming I completely forget the others and no one checks on me.

Finish: White peach, papaya, scallions, apple, caramel nuts, ginger

Sweeter, more caramel, nuttier, and nice spice. However there’s also onion on the end that I keep picking up. I have more water. There’s more onion.

Conclusion: I think I’m burned out. Not on whisky though.

The conclusion on this dram? It’s certainly interesting. More fruity than I remember other Ardmores, there’s a big punch of sulphur that I’ve been told comes from gordas sometimes. It’s almost like a raw dram. And I like it for that. You may not.

It’s on the verge of becoming really complex. For that alone you should try it. There’s some off notes, and some imbalance, but overall, I liked it.

83/100

Scotch review #526, Speyside review #156, Whisky Network review #878

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