Fortunately for my palate, but unfortunately for my wallet, I’ve come to appreciate single malt scotch whisky of late. That’s a tad misleading – I freakin’ LOVE the stuff.
Taken a step further, I have special affinity for the stronger, more peaty offerings that some say resemble drinking pure kerosene. To each his own. One man’s kerosene is another man’s heaven on earth, and such is case for me and this nectar of the gods.
My go-to brand is Laphroaig 10 year old (which will be showered with praise in a forthcoming review), which runs $47 to $50 per bottle. A couple of glasses of that a night and, well, you do the math. It can add up.
Accordingly, I’ve been looking for a slightly less expensive substitute, and recently tried Ardmore Traditional Cask Highland Single Malt.
Albeit not a dramatically lower price point ($35 at a local spirits purveyor) than Laphroaig, it was enough of a difference to entice me to give it a try and see if it could come off the bench and give my wallet a well-deserved breather from time to time.
I’ll confess the first sip was somewhat less than spectacular, but I’ll attribute much of that to just how much I love Laphroaig, and specifically, its powerful, slap-you-upside-the-head presence (in a terrific way, mind you), particularly as experienced in the first few sips.
Several draws in, I began to appreciate what a good little single malt this is – one that has its own unique personality and peaty expressions. It’s full-bodied, and again, peaty, albeit Highland peaty versus Islay peaty. I prefer the latter, but am growing to appreciate the former.
Lastly, I must admit I’m gaming the system just a bit. Of late, I’ll start off with a wee dram of Laphroaig, and then, with my taste buds slightly bullied, follow with similar dose of Ardmore. Toss in an after dinner cigar and my buds become even less discriminating.
I’m sure the SMS purists are rolling in their peat-covered graves… But at this pace, in a hundred years or so, I’ll be rolling in quite a bit more dough.
HAYNESonFIRE toasts Ardmore Traditional Cask Highland Single Malt with three out of five flames.