[Quick review] Ardnahoe - 5 years old Inaugural Release 50%

This is great to finally be able to pick up a first release from a new distillery, even more so when the said distillery is located on Islay, the release is aged for 5 years, unchillfiltered, natural colour, bottled at 50% and costs £70!
That’s what Hunter Laing have managed to achieve with this first Ardnahoe bottle.
Let’s just hope it taste good…

Distillery: Ardnahoe

Bottler: Distillery

Age: 5 years old

Distilled: 2019

Bottled: 24/04/24

Cask: ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry, mostly first-fill

Abv: 50%

Unchillfiltered: Yes

Natural Colour: Yes

Nb of bottles: n/a

Price: £70

Extra: Inaugural release

My tasting notes:

Nose: Sweet & smoky, vanilla, gentle oak spice, orange blossom, fruity side (slight peach and pears) phenolic peat, lemon curd, ginger, earthy notes, chared oak, iodine, cherry notes too after awhile, hints of jasmine

What a start…!

Palate: Sweet & smoky again but the sweetness is more honey, vanilla, caramel, and less fruity. It’s rather oily and chewy, oak spice, ginger, bitter black tea, herbaceous (thyme, bay leaves) green peat, slight minerality, mouth watering and delicious, custard & cinnamon apple crumble.

This is a fantastic Islay example!

Finish: Smoky, ashy, salty / maritime, very reminiscent of Caol Ila, barbecued meat, warming, sweet toffee & vanilla.

With water: The nose is fresher & fruitier with less smoke and more green / yellow fruit / citrus.The palate drops some bitterness for more sweetness first and more spice afterwards leading into the finish. Some of that bitternes lost on the palate resurfaces on the finish.

This is a very successful first release, with the whisky sitting at a crossroad between Ardbeg and Caol Ila, quite easy drinking despite the 50% abv, and with an absolutely delicious flavour profile. All in all this was money very well spent in my opinion. Excited to see what’s coming next for Ardnahoe!

Slàinte all! 


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