Whisky Review – Ardmore 12 Year Old Port Wood Finish @focuspr

Ardmore 12 Year Old Port Wood Finish

46% ABV

Non chill filtered

£44.75 from Master of Malt

I’m a sucker for porty peaty whisky, so after the minimal disappointment (Legacy was still good, just not traditional cask, sorry!) of the refresh of Ardmore’s core expression, I was stoked to here that a port finish was coming. Even more so when I learnt it was 46% and not chill filtered. Let’s get tasting!


On first pour and sniff I get that reminder of being in port cellars. A background of spicy red fruits and oak silently maturing. Shortly later the light Ardmore peat smoke comes through. Heavy in mossy floral nature, and subtle in its smoke. Gentle, complimentary to the red fruits. With a few minutes to settle the smoke becomes more forward, a gentle bracken nest crackling with flame. There is some added curry and cardamom spices and pepper now. 


Quite an initially dry arrival. With some dried red fruits, cranberry, red berry, strawberry, raspberry, all freeze dried. With the development comes some creaminess (custard and jam) and the fruits become juicier and quite jammy. Slight elements of green grass and moss seep through. The mouthfeel is very oily and coating. There is a slight warmth from the higher ABV, and some spiciness accompanying this warmth. Hints of dirty earthy peat travel throughout the experience. 


The fruit tart jams and custard retain through, accompanied by some exhaling of light floral smoke. Through the medium length finish there are touches of dry oak and fruits returning from the initial arrival of the palate. Juicy fruit spices continue until the end, and is very chest warming and brings a great feel good factor, ideal for a winters eve. 

Adding water. 

After a small splash of water a lovely mist forms. The nose becomes earthier, smokier with added pepper spices. Fruit becomes fresher, with elements of leaves and brambles. Quite a dirty peat and bonfire smoke, not much in the way of medicinal smoke. The palate is fruitier and juicier from the offset, still immensely thick on the palate, there are buckets of jammed up berries and touches of dirt coming through in the longer development. Spices are more subtle but still present and complimentary. The finish still warming, juicy, drying and giving a great warming feeling. Goooood stuff. 


This is lovely fruity, jammy, cold weather whisky. One to bring you out of a cold evening, warm your soul and bring a little gentle grin to the face. I jumped on a bottle immediately. I won’t open it until next autumn though. I suggest you plan likewise. 🙂

Many thanks to Ardmore for the review sample