The Exclusive Malts – Ardmore 2000 – 14 Year Old – Single Malt Scotch Whisky | 54.3% (108.6 Proof) $109.99 (Here)
Sample provided by ImpEx Beverages
Color/Appearance: The palest yellow with only the slightest hint of amber tones. So natural looking. Very likely from some pretty nonreactive barrel. This is from the 2014 release of the Creative Whisky Co’s Exclusive Malts collection.
Nose: Soft peat and lemon. Then buttery toast, some fresh grass and iced tea. A slight whiff of smoke from a single branch, long separated from the fire that created it. In the corner of the yard a blooming shrub of gardenia. An uncovered bandage formally soaked with antiseptic. Dried moss attached to the base of a tree. I find the nose charming and wonderfully indirect. Its got peaty power but states it so gently. Really one of those noses where you need to take your time but which ends up being so rewarding.
Palate: Honeydew melon coats your tongue, followed by some very clean and straight forward spices, black pepper, licorice, and slate. Underneath there is a supportive backbone of malty grains tying everything together. Then the fruit moves on to more rounded pear and apples, with a small squeeze of tangerine juice and pineapple. It is really starting to assert its own style in the mouth, with the lemon and citrus from the nose transforming into these more complex fruits. But even with all this fruit it still has a peaty and dry core that never seems to get too sweet.
Finish: Crsip and dry with some medicinal notes fading into softly represented wood. Lingering fruit like a very dry white wine. A few wispy strands of smoke and tar.
Overall: A quality peated whisky at cask-strength that really shows what Ardmore can do. Very peaty and dry but still bursting with fruit. This balance is nice and the result is a product very distinctive. I like its lack of red berries or ultra sweet cakes. There is some dissonance between the palate and the nose where the delicate scents get lost once you are tasting, but his is rather minor as both are still very pleasing. I imagine that as you move through this bottle you would grow to really love it more and more. Not an instant wow whisky but one that seems to have lasting appeal. Thanks to ImpEx Beverages for providing the sample.