Singlemalting #242 – 6th Edition Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar Day 16 – Ardmore 9 Year Old

Hello whisky adventurers. Welcome to day 16 of this 6th edition calendar. Today we have done something very naughty. For those of you doing blind tasting, good luck. This is the first time we have ever had a Highland whisky disguised by aging it in a deep dark and dirty Islay barrel (Laphroaig). Ho ho ho…….. this edition has been so fun to put together I can barely stand it. I sure am looking forward to watching both Food Quig and the boys in New Zealand at Single Malt Review to see just how messed up their blind tastings are. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (insert maniacal laughter and evil pose here). Whoops Tim got it 100% right, darn my evil plan was thwarted by the good guys.

Ardmore Distillery

Ardmore Distillery was built in 1898 by William Teacher’s son Adam. The bulk of the spirit went to into the Teacher’s Highland Cream brand and still does today. Now owned by Beam Suntory, Ardmore has been uniquely using barrier filtration rather than chill filtration which I’m sure leaves a little more delicious goodness in every bottle. Located in Kennethmont Aberdeenshire it is seen as a classical Highland distillery that does use a touch of peat.

Not sure who had the plan to pop this lovely Highland Single Malt into a Laphroaig barrel but I sure was happy to have a chance to buy it after 9 years.

Secret Spirits Ardmore 9 Year Old – Highland – Ex Laphroaig Cask # 709328 – 61.3% abv

Colour:         Pale gold. I’m thinking that this ex Laphroaig cask is a refill Bourbon barrel.

Nose:            OK so this initially on the nose talks a lot about the spoon full of sugar that makes the medecine go down. Manuka honey, the good stuff you buy at Planet Organic and pay $ 30 for a small jar. Manuka honey is made from bees using the pollen from Tee Trees and has huge earthy notes (btw Manuka honey makes the best hot toddies ever).

Palate:         Wow yeah that 61.3% abv is awesome and imparts all that lovely peat, earth, honey and what now……. ok I am getting caramelized rose petals…. have I gone crazy….nope wow there is definitely a rose petal floral note in here with caramelized sugars and all the while the manuka honey and earthy notes continue to unfold.

Finish:       long, delicious and calling to me to just keep drinking more and more of this friggin delicious dram. Seriously this is a pretty amazing dram and marries together some very iconic Scottish whisky styles. Love, Love, Love it.

So much scope to play with this whisky at 61.3% and the marriage of Highland honey and medicinal Laphroaig peat is awesome. Wish that more fun experimentations like this happened in Scotland. Certainly companies like Kavalan and Amrut have released many different types of cross barrel aged whiskies. Of course their maturation is so fast they can figure out what works really quickly. Scotland on the other hand is the land of slow. Every year that passes softly nudges the whisky in the direction that the cask wants to take it.

On this day in our 5th edition we had the extremely popular Wemyss Malts Nectar Grove blended malt.

Especially today you need to check out our guest Youtubers at Single Malt Review in New Zealand. Whisky Whistle in Canada and Scotch Test Dummies in the US. Plus the bonus Food Quig reviews.

Tomorrow we have something very special from our friends at Wemyss Malts. Can’t tell you much more or I will give it all away. Suffice to say that tomorrow will be a surprise for everyone.

Closing in on our last full week of whiskies for the 6th edition. I hope you have enjoyed the eclectic selection so far. Even though this has been the most challenging edition Cindy and I have ever made and distributed it has also in many ways been the most fun.

Looking forward to having your company tomorrow.




  1. Jessie Voisin says:

    You tricky bastard… this calendar has been really fun to do blind. This was a very confusing dram… that makes perfect sense after reading the label lol.

    I knew it was peated highland or speyside at cask strength but couldn’t pin the peat down to Islay. After knowing it was Laphroaig barrels, it all makes sense. Enjoying the journey.

    My way too early Top 3 are the Dufftown, the Auchentoshen and the Benrinnes. Great variety this year! PS… I got billing info for the 700ml bottles I ordered but never got tracking numbers. Any idea when they ship ( I hope it’s not next week as I will be traveling with family for Christmas week

  2. Jeff Endrizzi says:

    My first sip, and I was confused completely. Not because I was looking for anything specific, but because the floral and the peat clashed and blended, then separated into a beautiful heat. I don’t know what to say!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *