Ardnamurchan Paul Launois & Ardnamurchan North Star Spirits 5yo


Two reviews for the price of one today as we look at two Ardnamurchan releases.

Ardnamurchan AD/04:21 Paul Launois 

Region: Highland

ABV: 57.6%

Price: £70

If you’ve read our reviews you’ll know we are big fans of Ardnamurchan. We’ve been very impressed by both their spirit releases and more recently by their inaugural whisky releases. Well today we’re very excited to try a small batch wine cask release from the distillery. If you’re like us you’ll have your favourite cask types for distilleries, and it’s very exciting for us to try a distillery in a new cask type. Anyway we digress, this release is vatting of unpeated Ardnamurchan matured in first fill Bourbon barrels before being finished in casks for from Paul Launois, a Champagne producer in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.

Nose

Wine notes are very evident on the nose. There’s also something here that’s very reminiscent of a Riesling, as well as some fizziness, and cranberries, nosing it again and we’re getting strawberry, peppercorns, rose, lavender, orange peel, and treacle.

Palate

Palate opens with grapefruit, sunny delight, apple, warm chillis, strawberry cream hard boiled sweets, and strawberry laces.

Nose (with water)

With water there’s more Riesling like mineral notes here. We’re also getting some tobacco and ash, freshly squeezed orange juice, and toffee apple.

Palate (with water)

Water has opened this right up, There’s lots of fruit here grapes, orange peel, maybe some Fanta, verbena, and menthol. Only complaint here Is this is a a touch hot, even with water. Finish here is long with the heat lingering.

Conclusion

As mentioned above This is a touch hot, but that aside it’s delicious. We’ll need to revisit this in the future to decide if this is our favourite Ardnamurchan released to date, but even if it’s not we’re happy to give this a 9/10.

Score: 9/10

Ardnamurchan North Star Spirits 5yo

Region: Highland

ABV: 52.5%

Price: £94

North Star has a good reputation Among indie bottlers. Really what could go wrong here? This particular bottling was matured in a first-fill bourbon barrel for 5 years, with an outturn of 247 bottles.

Nose

Nose opens with banana, nail varnish remover (acetone), melted butter, and pepper. There’s a touch of smoke, but it’s very mild and reminds us of burnt toast.

Palate

Here we’re getting chocolate, ginger, verbena, tobacco, strawberry smoothie, mango, and a perfumed note that’s hard to place. There’s a touch of charcoal, but it’s very light.

Nose (with water)

This is really floral now, there’s also some double cream, and body shop musk perfume. Finally sticking with it there’s some galaxy caramel, and tobacco.

Palate (with water)

Now there’s also parma violets and green chillis this has a medium finish with lingering chilli spice. The citrus we normally get from Ardnamurchan is missing, but it’s still tasty.

Conclusion

This Is a tasty dram and great for a 5yo, but falls a touch short of the previous Ardnamurchan we tried from Royal Mile Whiskies or the Paul Launois release. Saying that it’s still a great dram if you can get it for RRP.

Score: 8/10

  • 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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