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Ardmore 11 yo 66.121 (2019, SMWS, 58,5%)

Let’s go back and taste an expression of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, after a long absence from these pages: today we review a young 11-year-old Ardmore, entitled “Fried Padron peppers tapa” – it was a 10 cl mignon, part of last year’s Membership Pack.

N: the smoke is intense, of course: exhaust pipe, a sense of Piazzale Loreto at rush hour. But there is also something vegetable, aggressive: fresh grass, lots of cereals, naked barley. Then, continuing on the nakedness, there are notes of yeast, bread, focaccia; every now and then the baking goes in the direction of… brioche.

P: very naked, in great continuity, even sharper than it seemed to the nose: all consistent, if it were not for a surprisingly retreating peat. The sweetness is basic, it is made of liquid sugar. Lots of new make, hints of plum and apricot distillate; a little vanilla here and there. Williams pears.

F: still sweet, with burnt sugar and a drizzle of smoke, of peaty barley grain.

In short, we appreciate the nudity but overall it is not the best Ardmore ever: we can’t say it has any horrendous flaw, it just seems a bit – let’s be honest, no offense intended – boring and simple. But there are many bottles that are not really ‘necessary’ in the world of whisky, right? Let’s say that this cask won’t be the reason to become a member of the Society, but the many other exceptional barrels they bottle will serve the cause better. 79/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Janko Nilovic – Drug Song.

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