Review: Ardmore 8 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Berry Bros and Rudd) / by Jason Hambrey

Ardmore 8 BBR 2.jpg
8 Years
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Ardmore (Kennethmont, Scotland)

Kensington Wine Market is perhaps the best whisky shop in Canada, for Scotch, with endless bottles of single malt exclusive to the store. They certainly know how to pick good barrels, and some of them at shocking prices (like this one).

Ardmore is a highland peated malt, with a character quite different than the Islay peated Scotch whiskies. It has a nice woodsmoke character, rather than the briny and marine Islay character. This whisky was matured for 7 years in an ex-Islay cask (Laphroaig). The back says it is an excellent “hip flask” whisky….that’s a well-stocked hip flask! I suppose it is, but it’s better in a glass.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: Barrel 803060

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

It’s a sharp, mixed, rich nose – deep earthy notes, heather, marmalade, baking spice, vanilla, and bright malt notes. The floral character is quite intriguing. There is a wood smoke character that is rich and deep, and really adds a nice contrast to the earthy, peaty smoke on the nose also.

The palate brings in a surprising amount of fresh peach, tobacco, caramel, and almonds. The finish is all earthy, smoky peat juxtaposed with concentrated stone fruit jam, nuts, and spices. It is balanced nicely with a vanilla sweetness, much like many Laphroaigs do. It has a light touch of tobacco spice, which I like. Absolutely delicious on the palate. It does lack a bit of richness in the mid-palate, but that’s a minor complaint.

This is a really nice Ardmore. Understandably, the Laphroaig character really takes the reins of this one, but it is nonetheless a very nice marriage. The youth really works in this one, in a positive way, not a negative one.

Very nice.

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average at $80 against all whiskies…high for Scotch. It’s hard to get Scotch like this at these prices!