Ardmore Traditional Cask

Finally back from my annual holiday and now off to the Highlands of Scotland for my next review. This time I am off to Ardmore, which means ‘big headland’ in Gaelic. They are located at the edge of the Grampian mountains and they were founded in 1898 Adam Teacher.

Ardmore_Traditional Cask _NAS_The Smoky DramWhiskey: Ardmore Traditional Cask, 46% ABV

Region: Highland, Scotland

Style: Single Malt

Age: NAS


As stated earlier, Ardmore was founded in 1898, during one of the industry booms that occurred at the end of the 19th century. The Ardmore whisky distillery still has its own cooperage for the production and repair of casks. They are, apparently, now the only Highland distillery that insists on fully peating their standard malt. Most put the PPM at between 12 and 14. Most of the whisky the distillery produces is still reserved for the Teacher’s blends.

The ‘Traditional Cask’ is double fermented, first in the usual oak casks but then for a second time in much smaller hand crafted “Quarter Casks”. These smaller casks were fairly common a hundred years ago but have been largely ignored due to their high cost of construction. This intense secondary maturation gives the deeper flavour that their whisky is known for.

Colour: Bright deep gold with medium to thick legs.

Nose: Seaside character of salt and seaweed, but not overtly so. There is also a vanilla and cream sweet spiciness about it. Clean and fresh with a herbal and baked sweet pie/bread character. Some of that lovely peaty smokiness is around in the background always, but not in an overt or overpowering manner.

Palate: after an initial hot and ginger spicy burst on your tongue it tapers off to some sweet wood spice, creamy vanilla sweetness and a lovely gentle peaty smokiness that coats your tongue and mouth. Like the nose, the palate is clean and fresh, with a lovely mix between the smoke and sweet characters.

Finish: Medium and warm with subdued lingering spiciness and soft smokiness with sweetish end.

Overall: If you are used to typical Islay peated malts, then this is an interesting variation to try. It has the smokiness that would expect from a peated malt, but it is a gentle and background smoke that intermingles quite nicely with the sweet characters.

My Score: 82

4 thoughts on “Ardmore Traditional Cask

  1. I’m a big fan of the Ardmore. I heard that they are changing their standard release – do you know if they are actually releasing a different whisky or just a new name/packaging?
    Keep on waffling,

    • Hi Nick

      I found out from a fellow blogging site, whisky for everyone, who did a ercent tour to the distillery that it will be replaced – “The Legacy has just been released to replace the Traditional Cask and this will be joined by further new expressions in 2015”. You can read about their tour and the new release here.

      So if you really like the Tradtional try the Legacy to see if you enjoy it as much as the Traditional. That way you will knwo how may bottles to stock up on.

      Happy Dramming!

      • Hey man, thanks for getting back to me. I’ll have to check out the legacy (when it finally surfaces in Australia). I’m a little apprehensive, as I enjoyed the traditional cask so much. I guess I’ll throw a little faith behind the distillery and find out for myself.
        Keep on waffling,

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