Ardmore SMWS 66.51 Hospitals on Guy Fawkes Night

A Tasty Dram Whisky Blog tasting notes

A for Ardmore

Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night is an annual commemoration of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605.

A member of the plot, Guy Fawkes, was arrested while guarding the explosives beneath Westminster Palace. The conspiracy attempted to assassinate the protestant King James I and install a catholic monarchy.

The image of Guy Fawkes gained immense popularity by the Alan Moore comic V for Vendetta and its 2006 movie adaption. The main character and protagonist V revolts against the fascist government in a dystopian London. V wears the now iconic Guy Fawkes mask that was adopted by Anonymous in 2008.

Identity Card Ardmore SMWS 66.51 Hospitals on Guy Fawkes Night

    Ardmore SMWS 66.51 Hospitals on Guy Fawkes Night
  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
  • Ardmore Distillery, Kennethmont (Highlands)
  • 11 years old single malt
  • 58.1% ABV
  • Distilled 9th October 2002 - bottled 2014
  • refill ex-bourbon barrel | 213 bottles

Tasting notes from the Society Panel

The nose was smoky and earthy, like leaf bonfires, shaved wood, turned earth, tree bark, forest floors and tractor sheds, but also had orange, lemon, garibaldi biscuits, sweet wood-sap and honey-glazed bacon.
The palate was tasty and deep – burnt raisins, cloves, ginger and jamon Serrano; also smoke, ash and salt – even something of spent sparklers and bicycle shops.
The reduced nose carried liquorice allsorts, candy floss, peperami and ping-pong paddles; old beach bonfires and hospitals on Guy Fawkes night. The taste was now mouth-tingling, warming and reassuring – cola cubes, clove-studded ham and sweet-cured smoky bacon.
The distillery is in Kennethmont.

Tasting notes

Colour: Fairly light in colour like white wine. Fast legs show on the side of the glass.

Nose: The initial nose carries a lot of alcohol. Napoleon (sour lemon) candy. Earthy notes from mushrooms and tobacco smoke. Grappa infused with lime and ginger. Some medicinal notes with sweet marzipan. Warm malt and Turkish delight.

Mixed with water the whisky releases a sweet smoky flavour, liquorice and sweet lemonade. The nose becomes a bit dusty.

Taste: The palate sets off with a sour start. A lovely smokiness. Tobacco mixed with lemon and raisins. Pepper, mint and anise. A cured ham that has been salted and smoked.

Water brings back the liquorice and anise notes. Coffee with cream and brown sugar. Warm honey with a pinch of salt.

Finish: A fresh yet long aftertaste.

Price: €89 

This was a young but affordable Ardmore. It's not the most complex malt but still a highly enjoyable whisky. Sweet and smoky, right up my alley. Most of these bottles, if not all, are already long gone. I hesitated too long to buy a bottle from the Dutch outturn. Fortunately the SMWS offers fairly regular peated Ardmore bottlings.

Enjoy Bonfire Night with a dram in hand!

Source and pictures: SMWS Japan