[Review] The Ardmore - Legacy 40%

Something very affordable today. This is one of the first few bottles I bought when I started getting into whisky. I picked up the Ardmore Legacy on offer in my local supermarket for £20 so not too dear indeed. I had never heard of Ardmore, but after Bowmore and Caol Ila, and realising that I really enjoyed a peaty dram, I came across this bottle. On the packaging it says "Lightly peated, Light and sweet, with unique Highland peat-smoke notes". Based on the description and the price, I didn't hesitate for long and put a bottle in my basket. Opening it at the time, I remember thinking it was definitely not in the same "peat-league" as the Caol Ila, but that it was still rather pleasant. Now, since I bought this bottle, I got to try and buy many others so I am now reviewing it, not as a whisky expert, but as someone with a little bit more experience.
So as you might expect, the Legacy isn't a dram I tend to have very often because in my mind, I have several other bottles which will provide me with a much more distinctive taste and therefore a more complex whisky experience. However, I still think that if you are starting to explore whisky and peaty/smoky one in particular, it is a great place to start. It is a mix of 80% peated malt and 20% unpeated so no full-on Laphroaig here, but it still gives you an introduction to peat. Personally, in the same price bracket, I would probably go back to the Bowmore small batch, but again, I do like the stuff and you get a bit more peat in the Bowmore.

It doesn't state otherwise on the packaging or on the bottle so this Ardmore will have been chillfiltered and despite being relatively pale in colour, colouring will have been added too. It is also bottled at 40% like most standard malts.

Nose: Gentle peat, some treacle/toffee, hints of chocolate, some stewed fruit and strawberry jam, hints of hay/grass

Palate: Light and easy-drinking, quite a soft/thin malt. I get some caramel, honey, light smoke/peat. The arrival is sweet before a smokier development. Hints of oak too.

Finish: Quite dry with smoke more than peat, ash even. The flavours dissipate relatively quickly. Some sweetness and barley notes.

With water: Sweeter on the nose, the peat/smoke is much less present and the oaky vanilla comes out more, Both the palate and the finish are spicier.

I hadn't poured myself a dram of Ardmore for quite a while and I must say I enjoyed it as an easy-drinking, not-so-complex malt. With this particular malt, I do find the price is reflected in the taste and would now love to try something else from the distillery. That is not to say it is a bad thing as for £20 when on offer I would definitely give it a go, but for me, when I know I can get Highland Park 12 for just a few extra pounds, my choice is quickly made! 


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