Single-Cask Saturdays – Ardnamurchan, UK Exclusive, AD/11:14, CK.339
Throughout December we decided to share some of our favourite single-cask releases of 2021. We had so much fun re-visiting these whiskies, and sharing tasting notes that we decided to continue the series throughout 2022. Now we’re under no impression that we will be able to this every week, so we’re aiming for a handful throughout the year! The first of which is the recent Ardnamurchan, UK Exclusive release.
Opened in 2014 the Ardnamurchan Distillery is a relatively new name in the Scotch whisky industry. Releasing their first widely available single malt in 2020 we fell madly in love with them early in 2021! We owe a many great thanks to The Spirit Specialist for both introducing us to the distillery through their ‘New Kids on the Loch‘ tasting, and for also securing this single-cask release.
Adelphi, independent bottlers, opened the Ardnamurchan Distillery in the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula in 2014. However, the first distillery to bear the Adelphi name was actually built in 1826 on the banks of the river Clyde in the Gorbals district.
This original distillery has a long and somewhat complicated history (name me one historic Scotch distillery that doesn’t!) that ultimately culminated in it’s demolition in 1971. Following the revival of the Adelphi brand, and the cementing of their reputation of purveyor’s of exceptional single-cask whisky, we have now come full circle to the opening of the Ardnamurchan Distillery in 2014.
Ardnamurchan are taking a modern and sustainable approach to whisky making. Using all local renewable energy, and recycling their by-products. Additionally, they are also making use of blockchain technology to provide transparency on the manufacturing processes of their whiskies!
Producing both peated and unpeated spirit, the released their first whisky in 2016 – which sold out overnight. Since then, Ardnamurchan have developed a strong fanbase amongst whisky drinkers!
Released specifically for the UK market and distilled in 2014, this unpeated spirit has spent nearly seven years in a first-fill Oloroso sherry butt. Bottled at cask strength of 59.4% ABV, it is of natural colour and is non-chill filtered. As the oldest whisky released by the distillery to date, we feel exceptionally lucky to get out hands on a bottle!
Cask Number: CK.339
Bottles Produced: 146 of 655
Cask Type: First-fill Oloroso butt
Distilled: November 2014
Visually this is an intriguing bottle. The dark matte-black bottle definitely stands out on your shelf, with the gold lettering suggesting a sense of luxury. It stands proud and very much holds it’s own! A beautiful rosey-red colour in the glass, you can immediately tell there is a high alcohol content in this dram. Creating a lovely oily texture around the edges of your Glencairn – the luxurious feel from the packaging continue as you pour.
Nose: very syrupy, berry jam, milk chocolate, orange blossom, peppermint
Palate: sweet and syrupy, milk chocolate, tobacco, burnt sugar, raisin pancakes with maple syrup – a buttery creamy texture
Finish: peppery spice, warm leather, melted chocolate, fresh ginger, hints of tobacco, charred oak
There is no doubt that this is a decadent whisky. Texturally, it is exceptionally creamy, rich, and buttery. We love the way that the sweet fruity, jammy flavours give way to the more savoury, burnt sugar/tobacco notes as the dram sits in your mouth. It is also interesting to see the Ardnamurchan spirit at an older age. The depth of flavour is definitely beginning to be present, so we think this will bode well for their spirit in the future!
We’re really excited to continue our journey of single-cask whisky into 2022. It’s a section of the industry that we have fallen in love with, as you can often find some slightly more experimental whiskies! Let us know in the comments if you have any favourite independent bottlers or distilleries who often release single-cask expressions.