Review: Two Unusual Speysiders (Macduff and an amazing Ardmore)

Whisky-Doris has brought us many great bottlings in the past. Doris and Herbert are real sherry-fans, but they know a good dram from an average one in every field. Recently they sent me their latest releases, let’s check out these two unusual whiskies from the Speyside.


Macduff 11 y.o. Whisky-Doris 15.11.2000 – 19.11.2011, Sherry Butt, 54,8%

Comment: A spicy sherry nose hits big time. These two main elements battle, which makes the dram alive and nervous but also somewhat unsettled … depends on what you like in your whisky. The sherry, which evoked raisins, prunes and other dark fruits in this dram, is more of the matchstick kind (again a question of preferance) and not fully integrated yet. Oak, peaches, smoke, blue cheese dressing and moss jump on board of this wild Speyside spice train (white pepper, bell peppers, chili, cloves, licorice and ginger). Water brings out farm notes and toffee in a creamier style. Long oaky finish. This is an interesting and complex dram – wild though – that might not appeal to everyone, but if you like spicy Spey malts, this is just right for you. It would go perfectly with Nachos.

Score: 83


Ardmore 19 y.o. Whisky-Doris 18.06.1992 – 25.08.2011, Bourbon Barrel 4652, 197 btl., 49,6%

Comment: Wonderful fresh, clean and fruity nose, very seductive with whiffs of peat, moss and soot, all perfectly balanced. Kiwi, apricots, orange zests, limes, grapefruit, cider, vanilla and berries make this dram appear much older than 19 years. Its elegance makes it a rather atypical Ardmore. On the palate, it also delivers! What a perfect allrounder. I have a peaty start with mossy undertones, then berries and the ripe fruit ride in, just like a recent Dom Perignon (which have discrete mossy peat and earth), amazing, then the peat comes back, wrapped in vanilla and apricot brandy. No water, please, it is perfect as it is. The medium-length finish is not the most intense because of the finesse this whisky posesses, but it leaves you with the desire for a second glass – or an entire bottle. Very late, there are sulphur and nice gunpowder that erase the fruity memories. Wow, what a great ride! Usually, only old bottles offer such profiles. Great choice, Doris and Herbert!

Score: 91

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