Ardnamurchan AD/03:16 Casks 367/369 & Ardnamurchan 2018 The George Hotel Exclusive Sherry Butt #1062


We've got a couple of recent Ardnamurchan's up for review, including one of the first casks from the distillery that has been distilled from Golden Promise barley.

Ardnamurchan AD/03:16 cask 367 & 369

Region: Highlands

ABV: 55.00%

Price: £67.00

This release is a vatting of two Sauternes Barriques distilled in March 2016. That was bottled in 2024 for The AD/venture Club. 480 bottles were released.

Nose

The nose opens with milk chocolate coated honeycomb, homemade custard, lemon curd and sugar dusted shortbread. The whisky has a bit of background mustiness, it’s damp but pleasant. The alcohol integration is good, and the whisky begins to open with time and air, revealing more citrus, orange rind and dried apricots.

Palate

The palate opens with a syrupy mouthfeel and a burst of tangerines, apricots, boiled sweeties and lemon pepper seasoning as the alcohol tingles the tongue. The finish is fairly long, mostly showing jelly tots and a touch of wood spice, moving into bitter grapefruit as it lingers. Going back, we’re finding some cornflakes and dark chocolate coated oat bites. The alcohol is a touch punchy in places, but it gives the dram a good body and heft that we’re enjoying. Another sip reveals some warm fudge and a hint of candied ginger.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose becomes a little creamier, more vanilla, cereal notes and brown sugar appearing, but less citrus fruits. It’s still a little musty, and a touch restrained, but water doesn’t hurt the nose overall.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate has a richer feel, caramel, toffee and chocolate, with lots of brown sugar sweetness lingering through to the finish. The mouthfeel feels mostly the same, perhaps a little diminished.

Conclusion

Quite delicious. The palate outshines the nose for us.. it was a tad restrained at first but the mouthfeel and hit of sweet fruits and candy was a pleasant surprise. Lots of cask influence here but not too much that it becomes sickly sweet or overpowering. We’re close to an 8 here, but it’s a 7.5/10 for us.

Score: 7.5/10

Value

Single cask/Small batch releases from the distillery usually retail around £90, so it's refreshing to see this release priced below that for club members.


Ardnamurchan 2018 The George Hotel Exclusive Sherry Butt #1062

Region: Highlands

ABV: 57.8%

Price: £84.95

This 2018 vintage release was matured in a first-fill Spanish oak Oloroso sherry butt and bottled in 2024 for The George Hotel in Inveraray. A total of 696 bottles were released.

Nose

The nose opens with prunes, date molasses, nutmeg, cherry jam and a hint of tobacco. We’re also finding blueberry flavoured balsamic glaze, leather and a little copper too. It’s sherry forward, with a mixture of the sweeter, fruity sherry and dry, nutty sherry aromas. Going back and we’re finding some wholemeal crackers and a hint of sweet chili jam.

Palate

The palate opens with spiced strawberry jam, some pink peppercorns, clove and a bit of nutmeg too. The spice lingers through to the finish with some salted pistachios, maraschino cherries and ginger. The mouthfeel is good, there’s some silky melted chocolate-like texture here. Going back and we’re getting Medjool dates, raisins and orange peel.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose has a little more funk, a bit more coastal feeling, but there’s still a fair bit of fruity, nutty oloroso coming through. There’s a wee bit of cured meat appearing too.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate loses some of the creamy mouthfeel, but it’s not all lost. Not too much has changed otherwise, lots of sherry character and salty Ardnamurchan spirit. Some of the spice has mellowed, but there’s still a warm left throughout the finish.

Conclusion

We’ve had a lot of sherry cask whiskies that may as well have been 55% fortified wine rather than whisky. Fortunately this isn’t one of those drams. It’s full of sherry influence whilst maintaining the Ardnamurchan character. It drinks more like a 10 year old than a 5 or 6 year old whisky. Slightly spicy in places but we can get past that.

Score: 7.5/10

Value

As mentioned earlier, single cask releases from the distillery usually come in around £90, and this release is priced in line with that expectation.

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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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