Adelphi Imperial 27yo Cask #3411 & Adelphi Ardnamurchan 9yo Cask #340


We're looking at a few more releases from Adelphi's 30th anniversary range, including a closed Speysider and the oldest Ardnamurchan we've tried.

Adelphi Imperial 27yo Cask #3411

Region: Speyside

ABV: 52.4%

Price: £525.00

This release was distilled in 1996, and has spent 27 years maturing in a refill bourbon cask. It was bottled by Adelphi in 2023, in an outturn of 187 bottles.

Nose

The nose opens with fresh vanilla cream, crisp red apple slices, ripe mango, a touch of ginger, and sherbet. We’re also finding fresh pineapple, orange slices and shortbread dusted with icing sugar. It’s a very tropical nose, lots of exotic fruits bursting out the glass. It has a great alcohol balance as well. Time and air brings out some strawberry jam, pear drops and light fudge. It’s a very fresh dram, we don’t necessarily get the old oak that we usually get from good bourbon cask Speysiders of this age.

Palate

The palate is less fruity than we expected, with more caramel flavours coming through, as well as a bit of citrus to compliment these notes. There’s a bit of spice here, black pepper mostly, and we’re finding more orchard fruits as the palate develops. The finish lingers, albeit not too strong, with caramel shortcake and toffee bon bons. The mouthfeel is fine, we were hoping for a little more to be honest. Again, it’s got an older whisky style to it, but it feels closer to 20yo rather 27yo with the tingly, peppery spice that dominates most of the palate.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose shows more of the caramel, vanilla and toffee notes we got on the palate previously. There’s also some must and tobacco appearing. The tropical fruits from before are still there, but much further in the background. We’re also finding French pastries, toasted bread, synthetic banana essence and candy floss.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate has a more balanced peppery spice, it’s almost more citrusy here, maybe some Szechuan peppercorn, lime zest and freshly squeezed lime juice. There’s also poached pears in white wine, milky coffee and a bit of caramel appearing too. Better balance with the water overall.

Conclusion

It’s a good dram, the nose is lovely, fresh, vibrant and fruity. The palate is a touch too spicy though, this does balance out a bit with a few drops of water however these drops don’t help the nose out.. it’s a toss up. We’d happily have another dram though, we’ll go with 7/10.

Score: 7/10

Value

We’re not sure "value for money" and "closed distillery" really goes.


Adelphi Ardnamurchan 9yo Cask #340

Region: Highlands

ABV: 56.2%

Price: £95.00

Our next review was distilled in 2014, and has spent 9 years maturing in a first fill PX cask. It was bottled by Adelphi in 2023, in an outturn of 328 bottles. 

Nose

Initially we’re finding the nose is a little restrained, but as we sit with it we notice notes of orange marmalade, gingerbread, cranberries and pomogranate. More patience rewards us with notes of blackcurrants, dunnage warehouse funk and sea salt. Honestly, we doubt we’d have guessed this was first fill PX, but saying that we’re still enjoying nosing this. There’s also a little confectioners sugar, and varnish sitting in the background.

Palate

While the nose was restrained the palate packs a wallop of flavour and we’re finding notes of cranberry juice, raspberries, jammy dodgers, custard cream biscuits and chocolate digestives. It has a syrupy mouthfeel that reminds us of golden syrup. there’s a warming nutmeg spice here, but the alcohol is in good balance. It has a pleasant freshness and a good length finish with plenty of sweetness lingering. We’d have guessed this was a few years older if we’re being honest.

Nose (with water)

Reduction has brought out more of the cask influence, and while the nose is still a little restrained we’re finding it’s richer now with more dark fruits, and we’re getting figs, plums, shortbread, toffee pops, and the crust of a creme brûlée.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate has gained wood shavings, coca cola, vanilla custard, fresh lemon, strawberry puree. While water brought out more of the cask influence we’re finding it has done the opposite for the palate. While the mouthfeel remains good its less syrupy and there’s now more upfront spice that carries through to the finish.

Conclusion

We wouldn’t have picked this out as a 1st fill PX hogshead, there’s some sherry influence but it’s in no way a sherry bomb. Nice to try an older Ardnamurchan, the spirit seems to take well to the additional ageing time. The palate gets a little too spicy with water, but the nose opens up a bit. 

Score: 7.5/10

Value

While £95 is pricey for a 9yo the cost is in line with our single casks from the distillery.

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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