All about making whisky
Ardmore is an ambiguous distillery. On the border between Speyside and the eastern Highlands, Ardmore was established in 1897, just one year before the Pattison brothers went bankrupt. Its whisky has a character which could be mistaken for an island whisky rather than a mainland. Interestingly, between 1817 and 1835, another distillery of the same name operated on the Isle of Islay before merging with Lagavulin. This colourful heritage extends deep into its DNA. Discovered thanks to its independent bottlings, Ardmore has, for several years, released its own 12 year old “house”.
This independent bottler is without a doubt one of the most highly acclaimed in Scotland. It stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks - carefully chosen for the purpose - filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.
The partnership between La Maison du Whisky and this malt specialist goes back to the early seventies. Initially La Maison du Whisky sold Gordon & MacPhail’s great classics. In the 1990s LDMW established its own cellars and launched a new collection called simply ‘Single Cask’. Every single malt in this range undergoes a rigorous selection process from a large number of samples. As its name suggests, Single Cask consists exclusively of single malts from a single cask that has been bottled without chill filtering. It is thus a separate range in its own right, and is presented in a special bottle selected by La Maison du Whisky with a label adapted from an existing Gordon & MacPhail model.