Price Point: $45 – $55 for 750 ML
Various aging techniques (and tricks) are all the rage right now in the whiskey world. Many distillers are looking to find ways to create a more mature tasting whiskey at a cheaper price to them. One of those ways is to reduce the size of the barrel where the whiskey rests and age it for a briefer period of time. This is how the Laphroaig Quarter Cask and Ardmore Traditional Cask are aged.
It’s really quite simple – the smaller the barrel the more contact the whiskey will have with it, thus imparting more of its characteristics (flavor) into the liquid at a rapid rate. The individual distiller will have to weigh the costs – less time spent in the barrel versus more barrels to accommodate volume.
I have a feeling we’ll be seeing even more of the mainstream distillers adopt similar techniques in an effort to expand their portfolio and to create well-aged whiskeys at cheaper prices to the consumer.
There’s subtle peat on the nose of Ardmore (considerably less than I anticipated from a whisky that has “Peated” on the label). There’s light smoke, but nowhere near the intensity of an Ardbeg or Laphroaig – a completely separate style with no maritime characteristics. This is a Highland whisky after all.
The taste is spicy, with a good amount of oak. There’s a really nice balance of peat, and not too smoky at all.
The finish on Ardmore is pretty nice. It tastes more mature than your average “no-age”, which is exactly the reasoning behind the quarter cask. Decent length on the finish, too.
Rating & Recommendations
Ardmore Traditional Cask is a solid Scotch, earning an 84 out of 100.
This is definitely an above average whisky, but when I am looking for big peat flavor, I’ll venture to the West and explore Islay.