Ardmore 18 yo 1992/2010 (49.9%, The Whisky Agency, ex-bourbon hogshead, 212 bottles) Colour: white wine. Nose: typical! In my experience Ardmore can be very sooty while not being very peaty and that’s exactly what happens here. There’s some metal polish and lamp oil on a bed of white garden fruits, mostly apples and gooseberries, with a development that happens more on rather farmy notes. Fruit peelings, hay, soaked grains… Also very nice notes of smoked tea, growing bigger and bigger. The whole remains relatively austere but let’s see what happens with water: the peat comes out but it becomes also a little more ‘usual’, so to speak. A little mint, a little camphor, more straight barley, maybe a little leaven. It’s not that it doesn’t swim well, it’s just that it does not need water in my opinion. Mouth (neat): how unusual! Starts with the same notes of smoked tea but also huge notes of green apples and smoked salmon, then olives and brine, salt, maybe even anchovies (touches) and just hints of lime. It’s very unusual but it’s also very good. When you try a lot of whiskies, this is the kind of kick you’re looking for. And powerful it is. With water: becomes more classic, with this sootiness and more green apples. Finish: long, relatively dry, with a briny aftertaste and even a little tobacco. Comments: a no-water-needed Ardmore. I think I shouldn’t have tried it with water, I’d have gone higher (not that Ardmore makes me fly). SGP:365 - 90 points.