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ARDNAMURCHAN 2018/AD Limited release n.3 (2018, OB, 55,3%)

After Raasay, we continue like garrulous Little Red Riding Hoods in the mysterious woods of the new distilleries, hoping to avoid the wolves and find lots of berries for grandmother’s tart. Our grandmother makes the tart with raspberries and whisky, problems?

A sumptuous game of reflections that connects the distillery and the sky

We remain on the west coast of Scotland, but we descend by latitude, and precisely in the Ardnamurchan peninsula, where in 2014 a distillery with the same name was opened, owned by the refined independent bottler Adelphi. They too put on the market a release every year since 2016, to kill time and start to have some returns for the investments: technically it is not whisky, but spirit aged for only one year. This is the 2018 version, the third ever, matured in first fill sherry (5,000 bottles). The first single malt is expected soon, as it has just been announced on the official channels of the distillery. We are in no hurry, in the meantime we thank the guys at Pellegrini – Italian importer of Adelphi – for the sample.

N: solvent, inevitable for such a young distillate. Then, however, the cereal emerges and the rumba starts: liquorice (very clear, in bundles), a thread of peat and almost a dusty sense, like a burlap sack full of cloves: yes, today we are imaginative, we feel in the hold of a seventeenth-century galleon. There is also a beautiful raspberry gelee and toffee that wraps everything. Red apple peel, orange, vanilla and icing sugar. Incredible if you consider the neonatal age.

P: a load of licorice again, now accompanied by a more evident peat. It almost resembles the truffle, it is a peat made of earth, organic and moist. Here the limits of extreme youth emerge: it is not harmonic, there was no time to amalgamate the contrasting sensory urges. In general, the palate seems a bit acrid and acidic..

F: burnt raisins, licorice, peaty coffee powder.

Well, well, well. The first thing that comes to mind, in unison, is: impressive for just one year, especially the nose. On the palate it is clear that it is too early, that time is not an option and that there are flaws, but to tell the truth it is not even so disastrous. Surely the sherry and peat mix here works well and you can see great potential. As per tradition, if it doesn’t say “whisky” on the label we don’t vote. But we let a certain satisfaction shine through, like De Niro’s smile at the end of “Once Upon a Time in America”.

Recommended soundtrack: Booze & Glory – Too soon.

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