Whisky Focus - The Ardmore Legacy

The Ardmore Legacy

26th September 2014
The Ardmore Legacy to be launched to replace the Ardmore Traditional.

Ardmore the lightly peated (usually around 12 -14ppm) Highland single malt is not a whisky single malt whisky drinkers hear about much which is surprising considering the distillery's 5.4 million litre output capacity. This is because most of the whisky the distillery produces is reserved for blends such as Teacher's.

It seems like Ardmore's owners have decided to have a bit of a shake-up and are replacing the Ardmore Traditional, Ardmore's only core single malt expression with a new bottling called The Ardmore Legacy.

You will be pleased to hear the new Ardmore Legacy continues the distillery’s tradition of lightly peated Highland single malt whisky. The Legacy is a marriage of 80% Peated malt 20% Unpeated malt which has resulted in a lightly peated Highland malt which has been bottled at 40% ABV.

It isn't a total surprise that 20% of the marriage is unpeated as the Ardmore distillery has been producing a unpeated malt by the name of Ardlair for some time and in 2013 the Ardlair made up around 40% of the total production at the distillery. You wont find any Ardlair in whisky shops as it is used by other companies as a blending malt

This new lightly peated, sweet Ardmore Legacy, offers new whisky drinkers an ideal introduction to peated style single malts and at the same time should be a welcome addition to any existing single malt whisky drinkers cabinet. Combining notes of creamy vanilla, sweet honey and savoury spices with a pleasant smoky taste, The Ardmore Legacy is a full-bodied and smooth dram with the typical Ardmore dry, spicy finish.

The new expression also brings a new look for the brand with its iconic Ardmore eagle firmly at the heart of the packaging design. The bottle label and outer tube feature a splendid copper foil eagle in full flight, acknowledging their rare golden eagle neighbours and representing an adherence to tradition. The eye-catching monochrome backdrop encompasses a map design conveying the distillery’s Speyside location and heritage.

The eagle has long played a key role in the brand’s history with rare golden eagles often seen riding the thermals above the distillery. The Ardmore supports these birds in partnership with the RSPB, most recently with the reintroduction of the white tailed eagle, a cousin of the golden eagle.

The Ardmore Legacy has a RRP £29.99 and will be available to purchase at Tesco and Morrison's as well as select specialist whisky retailers from the beginning of October. If you are a fan of the soon to be gone Ardmore Traditional don't forget to stock up before it is too late.

The Ardmore Legacy Review

Bottled at 40% ABV. Chill Filtered. A marriage of 80% Peated malt 20% Unpeated malt.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A delicate nose with honey, some creamy toffee and a hint of sweet peat smoke.

Taste:  A smooth entry with a lovely bourbon barrel edge. Creamy vanilla, sweet honey, mild oak spice all coated in Ardmore's delicious gentle Highland peat smoke.

Finish: A medium length mellow finish. Touch of tangy orange, mildly drying sweet oak spice.

Comment: I suspect the the traditional quarter casks are out of the maturation equation now, this combined with it being a marriage of 80% Peated malt 20% Unpeated malt make this a less peaty, less spicy and less toffee'd expression than the Ardmore Traditional Cask it is replacing which in my view is a good thing especially the toffee which was a little heavy in the Traditional bottling. It is a pity they didn't retain the 46% bottling strength as it would have scored a few more points on my scale if this had more oomph. An easy drinking Highland malt with a nice mellow touch of Ardmore Highland peat.

SMW Score 84/100

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