Ardmore 2008 Single Malt Caroni Collection Antipodes Cask#03006 Berry Bros & Rudo ABV 57.2% 700ml


Up until 2002, Ardmore was one of very few Scottish distilleries that continued to use direct coal-fired stills. Also unusually, its four wash stills (for the first distillation) and four spirit stills (for the second distillation) all have the same capacity of 15,000 litres. Matured in a cask previously used for the iconic Trinidad & Tobago rum Caroni, this magnificent Ardmore has risen to the challenge and successfully contained it without adulterating the Trinidad rum’s power and energy. Superb!


Colour: Pale gold.

Nose: Rich, powerful. On the first nose, Ardmore and Caroni engage in a Dantean battle. Once this duel is over, the Trinidad rum seems to gradually gain the upper hand, with petrol notes flooding the air. Then, suddenly, a very present oily, mineral salt-rich, gamey and intensely smoky (soot) peat takes over without warning. Further on, fresh fruits (pear, apple) definitively give Ardmore the edge.

Palate: Clean, distinguished. Abundantly fruity (pineapple, Mirabelle plum), vanilla and far more peaty than implied by the nose, the attack is also delicately aniseedy and mentholated. The rustic and earthy mid-palate stages a dried out peat that has become more vegetal. The honeyed (acacia) end of the palate refreshes the taste buds with a variety of plant infusions (thyme, verbena, sage).

Finish:Long, concentrated. Nomadic, the start of the finish heads to Mexico and its earthy, medicinal mezcals. With time, barley sugar spreads across the palate. Increasingly herbaceous (twig) and empyreumatic (chimney smoke), the end of the finish is at once deliciously vanilla and almost chocolatey. Ruling in favour of peat, the retro-nasal olfaction and empty glass stay in keeping with the palate. For a long time, however, the hint of tarmac that continues to linger plunges us again into the world of Caroni.

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