Ardnamurchan AD/06:22 Paul Launois & Caskshare Ardnamurchan Cask #706p


Back to Ardnamurchan, looking at the 2022 release of their champagne cask finish as well as a single cask bottling from Caskshare. 

Ardnamurchan AD/06:22 Paul Launois

Region: Highlands

ABV: 57.5%

Price: £70.00

This is a vatting of 2015 Ardnamurchan matured in first fill Bourbon barrels and finished in 195 litre wine barriques from Paul Launois, a Champagne producer in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. This is the second Paul Launois release.

You can find our thoughts on the first release here.

Nose

An initial oaky hit of vanilla is quickly overtaken by powerful, peppery alcohol aromas. This alcohol seems to settle somewhat after a short time in the glass, giving way to jelly sweeties, mango pulp and artificial banana essence. There’s a light yeastiness, as well as some custard cream biscuits and freshly made lemonade. It’s tropical and refreshing, although we find there is a touch too much alcohol spice on the nose.

Palate

Citrus forward on the initial palate, following into pineapple and mango, but with overwhelming pepper spice. It reminds us a little of Szechuan peppercorns, there’s a tingly, numbing sensation we’re getting. It’s quite bold in the alcohol, and we’re finding it a little unbalanced. It’s got a good mouthfeel and the finish lasts for a reasonably long time. Going back we’re getting some artificial sugars, gummy bears and honey going into some dry oak.

Nose (with water)

Water tames that punch of alcohol, allowing a lot more fruit to appear. We’re getting fresh apple, some green grapes, runny honey and freshly scraped vanilla pods. It’s not jumping out of the glass at us with big bold aromas, it’s restrained but complex and much more in balance now.

Palate (with water)

We’re finding similar citrus notes on the initial palate, more in line with a spritzy, effervescent wine such as a Spanish Albariño. There’s a richness that’s appeared in the background, it’s like lightly cinnamon sticks and we’re also finding a little earthy, vegetal flavour too. It’s not super sweet, there’s sugar but it’s more fruit driven than confectionery. We’re pleased that the mouthfeel and finish are retained, although it is a little more woody and bitter on the finish.

Conclusion

Ardnamuchan do some very impressive things with their spirit, especially given how young it is. We found this overly hot and alcohol forward at first, both on the nose and palate, but reduction brought things back into balance and allowed the light, delicate, fruity, sweet aromas and flavours to shine through. Quite interesting overall, and we’d definitely grab a bottle. It’s bordering on an 8.5/10, but the alcohol bite (before adding water) brings it down to an 8/10.

Score: 8/10


Caskshare Ardnamurchan Cask #706p

Region: Highlands

ABV: 58.0%

Price: £99.00

This release was filled into an ex-Bourbon barrel (#706P) on the 10th of August 2015 and bottled by Caskshare in October 2021. The P on the end of the cask number designates that it's a peated spirit. 

Nose

Initially the nose it quite restrained, but we can pick out some sweetness in the form candied nuts and vanilla ice cream. The smoke is very light and a little earthy. Giving it some time in the glass and we find there’s also some faint lime, and orange peel. Going back to it again and we get some wet dog, fresh wood and also just the faintest hit of ethanol.

Palate

Initially there’s some butter, green apples, peaches and musk. There’s some sugar syrup and a touch of honey on the mid palate. The finish packs a spicy punch with chilli heat lingering on the tongue. It’s got a reasonable mouthfeel, but it’s a little less mouth coating than we’d like and a touch hot. Not a huge amount of peat on the palate but what’s there shows as fishiness.

Nose (with water)

With water the nose gains a mustiness. There’s also some orange juice, ginger and citrus now. The ethanol is gone and we’re getting a note that reminds us of Caramac bars.

Palate (with water)

Water doesn’t change the flavours of this too much but in addition to the above we’re now getting some cinnamon and a note that makes us think of ginger nut biscuits. The finish remains a good length but it’s now got more of a peppery finish with some additional sweetness. This definitely benefits from a little dilution.

Conclusion

Other than Ardnagherkin, we’ve yet to try a single cask release of Ardnamurchan that doesn’t fall somewhere between good and great. This one is a good dram that makes us excited to try more Caskshare bottlings, but at £99 it’s a touch too expensive for us.

Score: 7/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

    Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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