Ardmore is an unusual malt through and through. The distillery is currently the only Highland producer using a fully peated standard malt, which lends a character unexpected from whiskies of this region. They utilize labor-intensive Oregon pine fermentation vessels, which impart depth to the final spirit. Finally, after maturation in standard oak casks, it undergoes a second aging in much smaller quarter casks; these were common a century ago, but have largely faded into history. Finally, unlike many larger brands, Ardmore is bottled without the use of chill filtration. While this means the spirit may turn cloudy in cold weather or with the addition of water, it preserves the natural flavors and oils from the grain. This all results in a distinctive whisky of delightful complexity. The nose is dry, smoky, earthy, and malty, with just a hint of berry fruit. The palate, however, displays rich peat, toffee, cedar, candied orange, and spice. The addition of a splash of cold water enhances the aromatics and flavor.