Appearance : burnished gold.
Nose : full-bodied, unctuous. The mineral (slate, manganese) first nose charismatically reveals a rancio that is fruity (apricot, stewed strawberry), herbaceous (cut hay), hot (Cayenne) and rooty (ginger). Becoming increasingly peppery, the palette of aromas is gradually covered in blocks of herbaceous peat (lichen, moss). With time, the fragrances of wildflower honey and candy sugar fill the air.
Palate : powerful, firm. On the attack, praline and the same vegetal peat found on the nose create a perfect pairing. The very fleshy mid-palate (pear, apple, black grape) delivers succulent notes of frangipane (almond pastry). The rustic end of the palate evokes the ploughing season. Ardmore’s bucolic character is resplendent, with a floral note also present (lavender, violet).
Overall : long, concentrated. Moving from heady florals (hyacinth, iris) to ripe fruit (Mirabelle plum, apple) and sweet spices (cinnamon, ginger) to vanilla, the finish stages a peat that crumbles like an eroding cliff. On the retro-nasal olfaction, mustard seed, a fine layer of soot and gentian root coat the taste buds. A block of dried peat rises from the empty glass alongside candied pear. Stunning.