By Alex Southgate
The Ardmore is a Highland single malt and a distillery, the latter sitting at the highest point of the Northern Railway line. It’s a whisky that has always relied on rail travel to truly enable it to flourish. In fact, the distillery’s proximity to the railway line allowed founder Adam Teacher (son of the founder of Teacher’s Highland Cream) to transport much needed material from Glasgow to the remote part of Aberdeenshire, where this whisky makes its home. The Ardmore is currently owned by Beam-Suntory.
The Ardmore has a golden hue while in the bottle, something that carries over to the glass. On inspection the liquid moves easily around the glass leaving very little residue on the sides. I don’t necessarily want to use the word thin but it’s definitely less oily and viscous than some of the other single malts that I’ve tasted.
To the nose, The Ardmore has a slightly sweet, chocolaty aroma. Considering how smooth this malt smells there is a hefty kick of alcohol backing the sweeter tones up. Just from the scent alone you expect this to be one that will burn on the way down. Strangely, the harshness that comes over in the scent doesn’t carry to the taste.
This is a surprising scotch on several fronts. Firstly, as this is a highland whiskey you expect to be hit with the earthiness that comes from peat. This seems to be present in many scotches from this area but isn’t as notable here. The most pronounced flavor I found when tasting this whiskey was one of oranges, there is a definitive hit of citrus which is truly pleasant. The chocolaty overtones in the scent carry over to the taste giving The Ardmore rich, creamy notes which with the orangey after taste make this a rather pleasant dessert tipple.
This isn’t by any means a strong whisky; it’s surprisingly easy to drink and the hefty glug of alcohol that comes over in the nose doesn’t harry to the drinking sensation. This is more of a warming tipple than one that will require ice or a mixer to tame it.
A great and relatively inexpensive whisky, The Ardmore is definitely one that’s easy to drink. I rarely mix any spirits so whiskeys that can be enjoyed neat are always welcome. A cube of ice might lift the flavor slightly but certainly isn’t necessary to make for an enjoyable drink.
The Ardmore Legacy Single Malt comes in at around the £25 per 70cl bottle mark. It’s substantially more expensive in the United States, typically priced at $50 to $55 per 750 ml bottle.