Today we’ve got our first Watt Whisky review along with an SMWS release, both from Ardmore distillery.
Watt Whisky Ardmore 9 Year Old
This release from Watt Whisky spent 9 years in a refill bourbon barrel.
On the nose there’s dry roasted peanuts, some sage leaves, burnt rubber, a certain waxiness too. It’s a little fatty with some fresh cream and there’s also a fair bit of ethanol as you get your nose deep into the glass. With air we’re also getting some pine, along with some dried mint leaves.
On the palate there’s sugar coated pineapple roasted on searing hot charcoals, with a sweet, sour and spicy finish on the tongue. Air reveals a nice vanilla oakiness mixed with campfire smoke, a touch of lemon and a hint of antiseptic wipes. There’s now a pepperiness that takes over the whole palate as you get to the finish.
Nose (with water)
With water a little breadiness and yeastiness have appeared, along with some lemon pith and a hint of peach too. There’s a salinity that mixes with a raw spirit note. The smoke is there, but has been muted quite considerably by the water.
Palate (with water)
Water has killed the initial smoke, given it a sweeter palate with a touch of citrus and cream. There’s a fair amount of spicy alcohol here too, along with some farmyard funk. The sweetness is nice though, the citrus keeps it fresh and the finish is reasonable length with a lingering smoke.
The nose and palate are quite far apart here, but neither are bad. There are some good flavours and aromas here but we’re finding it a little one dimensional, the body and mouthfeel are fine but there’s nothing standout that makes us want to come back to this dram. Pleasant but uninspiring.
SMWS 66.145 Ardmore 21 Year Old
This society release was distilled in 1997 and spent 21 years resting in a refill bourbon hogshead before being bottled at 53.8%. There were 274 bottles released.
On the nose we’re getting a dirty/soil note along with some golden syrup, warm plastic, and apple sauce. With a little air there’s also some caramelised lemons and a very light smoke sitting in the background.
Initially we’re getting some lemonade and chopped basil. Air reveals vanilla syrup, a touch of mint, and a gamey note that’s hard to place. This has a hot finish with chilli spice and some citrus lingering on the palate.
Nose (with water)
Reduced nose opens with vanilla fudge, more warm plastic, and some pineapple juice. With water we’re finding the smoke has become more prominent. There’s also a hint of orange here.
Palate (with water)
On the reduced palate we’re getting apple juice, chocolate orange, and tangerines. The smoke is still really subtle on the palate. Finish remains medium length, but with a reduction in the chilli spice. We’d recommend a splash of water in this.
We really like this.. it’s a great example of a 21 year old Ardmore, something we don’t see much of. It’s also a good example of what happens when you leave a whisky in a refill bourbon barrel for 20 plus years. It’s be nice if the society did this more often!
- 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.
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