Sweet demerara sugar, old paper within a leather-bound book. Slightly smoked mainland peat, distinctively less maritime than island peat. Charred wood, red wine, cinnamon and nutmeg - more like mulled wine!
Red wine served with rich red fruits, berries, cherries and grapes. The fruity explosion is followed by charred wood on a campfire, some sweet sticky meat is being roasted above the flame.
Long and nutty, sweetness and smoke carry through, slightly drying out the mouth... calls for another sip I'd say.
Ardmore 11: Red Wine Octave, Custom Char
An interesting take on an Ardmore 11. This delightful dram tastes even more exquisite than it looks... and it looks mighty fine!
Ardmore is actually the only Highland distillery that fully peats its standard malt, a characteristic typical of island whiskies. Unlike these other whiskies however, Ardmore uses mainland peat, composed of totally different flora and fauna to its west-coast and island counterpart.
The cask used to finish this spirit has been seasoned in red wine and then given a custom char. The charring of a cask is standard practice, it makes the wood more porous, and thus encourages interaction with the spirit.
The size of this finishing cask was an Octave (50L), which is about an eight of the size of a Butt Cask, hence the name. Due to the smaller size and volume of this cask, the spirit finished in an octave has a higher percentage of surface area contact with the wood. As the wood does all the magic, these sort of finishes greatly intensify the resulting flavour and colour profile of a whisky.
This is clear as soon as you see the bottle, the combination of the rich dark liquid and the trademark TSC bottle shape, make this release stand out. Its like a rare gem, a perfectly cut Ruby, a must for every whisky shelf.
Don't delay though, the small size of an octave means that this release was limited to only 82 bottles!
Maturation: Red Wine Octave, Custom Char
Bottled: Natural colour and without chill filtration
Bottle Size: 700 ml