Whisky Review – The Ardmore Legacy

The Ardmore Legacy
40% ABV
~£30.00 available from supermarket chains

I wrote my notes for Ardmore Traditional Cask over a week ago, thoroughly enjoyed it. So it’s with a level of concern that I am going into this review/note tasting session, as with the lower ABV and chill filtration I’m unsure how much the previous sippage is going to influence my thoughts. I’m hoping I’ve waited long enough to be impartial, and I will not reference my Traditional Cask notes until I finish, and do a little side by side end comparison.

Nose.

Sweet, smoky heather honey. A touch of spirit in there. Pear drops. Warm sugar. Marmalade. A touch of raisin, pepper and cinnamon. The smoke is of twigs burning with some wet grass trying to ignite, with some oak char. Time in the glass results in the more sugary and floral elements coming forward. A nice pleasant smoky highland nose.

Palate.

Reasonably sweet. Honey, brown sugar, some peat sweetness. Some apple and pear, green fruits. A touch of oak spices, touch of pine. It’s very easy to drink, quaffable, session dram stuff.

Finish.

Sweet peaty sugar drops in the finish, which is short to middling in duration. Drying out with a touch of oak, and the smokiness hanging around at the back of the throat.

Adding water.

I’m only adding the slightest drop in this one, it’s quite well diluted from the bottle. More floral on the nose now. The palate has more of a sugar forefront with some of the peaty elements retracting to later development with less intensity, the spices also lessen, with the honey notes taking full flight. The finish is slightly shorter with less smoke and more sweet. I would avoid water unless your not enjoying the smoke.

Conclusion.

This is a good beginner whisky for someone wanting to experiment from light, floral, honey highland Whiskies into more smoky grounds. It will certainly give someone a great idea as to if they are going to enjoy peated whisky, in a gentle way.

Comparison.

Ok, so I’ve had to pour a wee spot of my bottle of Traditional Cask to do a side by side. I’ll make it brief. There is a clear reason some whiskies are 46%. The non chill filtration gives an oilier, more fulfilling flavour as the liquid naturally spreads more evenly in the mouth. The additional alcohol transposes more richness of nose and depth of palate. Now, I don’t want to be unfair as to the direction Ardmore is taking here, I’m sure there are excellent reasons, but I personally prefer Ardmore Traditional Cask and I will be buying some to enjoy in the future. Both are perfectly good whiskies. It’s just an opinion.

This whisky is replacing the Ardmore Traditional Cask. Reviewed here.

Thank you to Ardmore for providing this review sample.

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Whisky Review – Ardmore Traditional Cask

Ardmore Traditional Cask
46% ABV
Non chill filtered
£25.00 available from Whisky Galore at The Green Welly Stop

Nose.

Sweet peat smoke. Balanced between bonfire and medicinal. A touch of TCP, but not much. Buckets of rich vanilla. White pepper. There is a pleasant youth to this which combines really nicely with the smoke and spices. Fruit is placed in the background. Dry dark fruits. Raisin. A touch of sweet cherry. The sweetness combined with these elements give quit a scrumptious tasty nose demanding a sip.

Palate.

Sweet! Vanilla. A hit of alcohol and spice boost of youth. Past this the richness and oily mouthfeel takes over. Sweet turns to peaty earthy damp grass notes. And that oily mouthfeel transfers it well throughout every extremity. Through the later development there is a touch of dark bitterness to the now developed caramel flavours.

Finish.

The finish retains sweetness and the touch of bitterness. The bitterness fades and were left with dark brown caramelised sugar and treacle toffee with the sweet peat lingering in the background.

Adding water.

A small splash. The nose now exhibits some ashy coal and more bonfire smoke. There is a added touch of heather honey and floral nature. The nose has also some added depths, the smoke is now quite breathtaking. A touch of Parma violets as well! The palate also has more sweet shop confectionary nature to it. Floral sweets, and some candy cough twist notes, a touch of aniseed. The finish is longer, less bitter than the undiluted, continuing the aniseed and liquorice themes, with the barley sugar and sweet shop boiled sweets all going through with the chest warming peaty smoke. This dram explodes with complexity and is quite amazing with a touch of water.

Conclusion.

This really is an excellent value for money dram. It’s a lovely complex session dram. Excellent bang for ones buck! It’s younger, and wears that youth very well, lots of great, sweet barley and lighter peat smoke (no competition to Islay, but a great starter for those not too much into their peat – or a nice balancer for someone who’s had a little too much smoke). I’m dead impressed, wish I’d tried this one sooner, but will stock up now that it is discontinued. If you like this whisky, or have an inkling you may, you would be silly not to stock up now. Before its gone forever…

This whisky has been discontinued and replaced with the Ardmore Legacy. Reviewed here.

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