Ardnamurchan AD/04:16 CK.411 & Ardnamurchan AD/04:16 CK.413


Two single cask Ardnarmuchan's today, they look to be sister casks so we're excited to see the differences between them.

Ardnamurchan AD/04:16 CK.411

Region: Highlands

ABV: 55.0%

Price: £89.00

Roy from the Aqvavitae YouTube channel personally selected this cask. Distilled in April 2016, it matured in an ex-Adelphi unpeated refill hogshead until September 2023, resulting in a release of 324 bottles.

Nose

The nose opens with a light white pepperiness, aloe drops, creamy vanilla, lime zest, herbal smoke (not peat, more charred wood), dusty wardrobes and fudge chocolate bars. The alcohol feels in good balance, maybe a touch varnishy but not in a bad way. We’re also getting some pencil shavings/graphite aromas along with the faintest suggestion of fresh mango in the background.

Palate

The palate opens with chocolate and malt, with a fair whack of young alcohol, a touch of rubber, black pepper spice and toasted oak. We’re also noticing a touch of coastal salinity. The mouthfeel reminds us of a thin caramel, lacking a little bit of viscosity but still with some texture. The finish is quite sweet, caramel and toffee notes, but dissipates quicker than we’d like. Time and air brings out more of an oily note, petrol-like, along with burnt toast.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose brings artificial banana, canary melon, crisp breads, vanilla essence and cadburys milk chocolate. There’s some buttered toast and toasted hazelnuts now appearing. Some of the sweeter fudge notes have receded slightly but the pepperiness has subsided somewhat now.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate brings out an initial barley sugar sweetness, salt crystals, into grapefruit bitterness and a bit of that black pepper again. There’s still a bit of a young spirit note riding through the palate. We’d advise skipping reduction here, we don’t think it’s helped too much.

Conclusion

We weren’t too sure what to expect here, but we’re a little let down by this dram. It just feels a bit young and out of balance. Perhaps a fresher cask would have improved this for us, but we’re no experts. There’s things we like about the dram but we’re going with a 5.5/10.

Score: 5.5/10

Value

It’s not cheap, but it’s in line with other Ardnamurchan single casks.


Ardnamurchan AD/04:16 CK.413

Region: Highlands

ABV: 55.0%

Price: £89.00

Here's another cask handpicked by Roy from the Aqvavitae YouTube channel. Like the previous one, it was distilled in April 2016 and matured in an ex-Adelphi unpeated refill hogshead. However, this batch led to a release of 319 bottles in September 2023.

Nose

The nose opens with green apple, pear skin, a handful of gooseberries, white pepper and dust. We’re also getting a fair bit of alcohol coming through, along with wood shavings, light brown sugar, vintage clothing and maybe a touch of chlorine. We’re not getting too much else.

Palate

The palate opens with peppery spice, moving into a rich caramel sauce, vanilla sponge and toffee crisp bars. There’s a rich oak here, warm cinnamon spice and slightly toasted pastry. There’s also a little grassiness appearing too. The mouthfeel has a simple syrup-like consistency, wethers originals, but overall there’s a fair bit of alcohol bite showing through. The finish lingers on for a good length, mostly with fondant icing, a little vanilla cream and white pepper spice.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose brings out some meatier aromas, well-seared steak, charred oak, bread sauce, buttery crumpets with a light dusting of caster sugar, but a lot of the fruit we found before is nowhere to be seen. We’re also getting a bit of pine and a cold winter breeze.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate has breakfast tea with a drop of milk, Savoiardi sponge fingers, cola bottles, but overall it’s a bit thinner and lost a bit of complexity in our eyes. It’s easier to drink so some may prefer this, but we’d skip the water.

Conclusion

A pleasant dram that is a bit rough around the edges but perfectly drinkable. It’s taken some nice sweetness from the cask, but it’s still a touch too young for us. We’ll go with 6/10.

Score: 6/10

Value

Again, we wish these single casks were cheaper, but that’s true about most whisky.

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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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    1 comment


    • Roy

      Thanks for reviewing boys, this was just brought to my attention tonight.
      Happy to share the reason behind these was to highlight the refill cask element – not all refill casks are the same. These two bottles are identical in every way bar the previous incumbent – scotch whisky. These were ex-scotch whisky casks. Cheers to you both! Roy


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