Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez
Added coloring: No
Owner: Adelphi Distillery Ltd.
Average price: € 54.00
Official website: www.adelphidistillery.com
I spoke about the independent bottler Adelphi some time ago in my piece on their basic blended, Private Stock, reporting among other things how in the late 2000s they decided to build their own distillery in the Highlands, named after the peninsula where they reside, Ardnamurchan.
Since 2014, when they started distilling, a couple of versions of ‘whisky in progress’ have been released, but it was only in September this year that their first whisky, aged for around five years (not stated on the label), finally hit the bottle.
And the release date is marked in the name, September 2020, which also shows the progressive batch number, i.e. 1, in this version composed of equal parts peated and unpeated malt, aged 65% in ex-Bourbon and the remainder in both Oloroso and PX ex-Sherry.
Taking its energy only from renewable sources, Ardnamurchan presents itself as an innovative and modern distillery. Italian distributor, Pellegrini S.p.A. points out that “Ardnamurchan is the first Scottish distillery to adopt the use of blockchain technology to provide full traceability of the production chain, from supply to production. By scanning the QR code on each bottle, it is possible to trace the entire production chain from field to market.
Ardnamurchan’s Managing Director, Alex Bruce, said: ‘When we filled our first casks just over 6 years ago, the idea of bottling seemed a long way off. Yet, we’ve come a long way, with a completely local team, filling our warehouses with more than 10,000 barrels and organising national and international distribution. For the rest, we relied on the unique local climate to mature the product and we are really excited about the quality and consistency that has been achieved’.”
Light gold with copper highlights in the glass.
Roasted almonds and red apple mingle with pencil shavings in greeting the nose, with a balsamic and herbaceous waft blowing over apricots, melon, tangerines, pastry and lemon cream. In the background, a distant aroma of saltiness. Very fresh and lively, very pleasant.
A peppery touch that lingers on the tongue while it slides dry on the palate, with a rather pronounced alcoholic exuberance. Here you can feel all its youth, with a clear presence of biscuit malt and cereals accompanied by herbaceous and marine impressions, underlining the ambivalence of sweet and salty where the peat is more vegetable than ashy. Fruit (apricots, melon, a touch of pineapple), caramel, vanilla, lemon, impression of sweet liquorice (like Haribo), more wood.
Quite long finish of wood, spices, caramel, salt.
Young, lively, amusing: Ardnamurchan’s is a truly enjoyable debut, not without the imperfections and flaws of its precocious age, but it knows how to be likeable and leaves excellent premises for the future.