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ARDMORE 9 YO CARONI FINISH (2009/2018, A&G, 55.4%)

A&G. Here G&A, to be precise: Giuseppe and Andrea

After the great success of the last edition of the Milano Whisky Festival, we need to talk a bit about the two minds behind an event that is now considered one the most important European Whisky shows. It’s no news that Andrea and Giuseppe, the two founders of MWF, also wear the hat of indie bottlers, recently bottling some rum and gin too. It was 2018 when this fascinating couple created the A&G brand, selecting some great casks like this Caol Ila. We’ll taste another dram from this range today: after 7 years in an ex-Bourbon cask, A&G decided to use an ex-Caroni cask (the womb of a Caroni bottling they made together with Giorgio D’Ambrosio a couple of years ago) for a further maturation of 19 months. So the total age is 9 years old, and 230 bottles are available.

IMG_0866_40N: dirty, very dirty, almost stinky… And without alcohol! There’s an organic peat, fat, dirty and smoky, that matches some notes of… polluted port (seems absurd, since there’s no coastal notes). There are cheese notes, maybe Edamer (it’s a ‘sweet’ cheese). Some pie crusts, with burnt jam, some vanilla… Mentholated after a while, with a growing camphor hint.

P: wow, so nice… It starts on the balsamic side, with menthol and eucalyptus, quite unexpected at first. Very fresh!, then vanilla, white sugar, stewed plums; fresh but sweet and sugary. Maybe some unripe mango? There’s burnt rubber, peat smoke, very chemical notes, again quite ‘dirty’. It remains always fresh.

F: long, dirty and chemical, and this chemical industrial side clearly comes form the rum cask. Sweet.

We’re surely talking about an extreme whisky, that “needs to be liked to be appreciated” (a tautology that we always like) since it’s very chemical and strong: but if you’re into this kind of drams, you’ll love it. We tasted it blind, the very first time, during the jury of Milano Whisky Festival’s Best Whisky in 2018, and it earned a Gold Medal: a sign of the fact that, if you’re free from preconcetpions against rum-finished whiskies, you can’t deny to have a glass full of a well-made whisky, in which the gamble of this second maturation will remain as another great story to be told by Andrea and Giuseppe: 87/100. Here’s the link to their shop..

Recommended soundtrack: Paolo Conte – Tropical

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