Todays review is the Ardnamurchan 2015 6 Year Old Adelphi RAF Benevolent Fund bottling. It’s also one of our dram club bottles this month. There’s still a few samples available if you’d like to grab one. These are currently just our thoughts, but we’ll be updating the page in the coming weeks with thoughts from everyone who joined the dram club.
Ardnamurchan 2015 6 Year Old Adelphi RAF Benevolent Fund Cask #144
Price: £89.95 RRP (Auction £120)
So what is this RAF bottle? Well having had several members of the family serve in the Royal Air Force, the Bruce clan has a strong connection with them, and have produced a number of commemorative Adelphi bottles to help raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
This bottling - one of a pair released in 2021 - is particularly close to the family, as the cask comes from their own Ardnamurchan Distillery. It marks the efforts of the 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron in the Battle of Britain, which saw some of the most intense aerial warfare in history. Under the command of squadron Leader "Sandy" Johnstone, the 602 ran operations in the south of England, followed by France and Belgium, from 13th August to the 31st October 1940.
This is first-fill ex-bourbon cask was filled in 2015 and matured for 6 years before being bottled at cask strength and with no added colouring. Only 250 bottles were produced. This was sold by Adelphi and Royal Mile Whiskies who each donated £5 to the RAF Benevolent Fund for every bottle sold.
On the nose we’re instantly hit by a floral note that we’re going to say is lavender. Giving this a little air and we find the nose is really fruity with grapefruit, apples and lemon sherbet. It’s easily identifiable as a bourbon cask as it has a distinct sweet vanilla note along with some milk chocolate.
Palate opens with some golden syrup, toffee and tobacco. There are hints of citrus here such as orange peel and lemon juice, but they’re not as prominent as we expected given we always find citrus the most dominant note from this distillery. Really Good mouthfeel on this. Long peppery finish we’d describe as cracked black pepper/biting into a peppercorn.
Nose (with water)
On the reduced nose we’re getting toffee brittle as the dominant note. It’s followed by some lemon sherbet, sugar cane and strawberries.
Palate (with water)
Like the nose the toffee comes to the forefront. There’s also a touch of white chocolate here, but the sweeter notes quickly fade into the background and the spiciness takes centre stage. Similar to the undiluted palate we’re getting chilli and black pepper that linger on the tongue. Personally, we’d pass on water the reduced nose was fine, but we miss the sweeter notes on the palate.
This isn’t bad, but even still we’re a touch disappointed. We had to work hard to find the floral, and fruity notes that we’d expect and want from this distillery. Yes, this was released for charity, but it’s still expensive for a 6yo, and Adelphi have set the bar so high with their other releases that we can’t rate this any higher than a 7.5/10.
We’ve reviewed a fair few Ardnamurchan bottlings now and because our scale takes in price you’ll find several of these have been given the same score. If you’re interested the below is a list of the bottles in order of preference ignoring price.
- Ardnamurchan AD/04:21 Paul Launois
- Ardnamurchan Royal Mile Whiskies Single Cask
- Ardnamurchan AD/07.21:05 Single Malt
- Ardnamurchan North Star Spirits 5yo
- Ardnamurchan 2015 6 Year Old Adelphi RAF Benevolent Fund
- 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.