You don’t need to tell folks in the Scottish Highlands about global warming: They spotted the signs years ago. Once upon a time, the snow would come early and stay for weeks, even months. But last winter they had virtually no snow, and what did come down melted within a day. Without snow it becomes difficult to make whisky, because there isn’t enough water running off the mountains and into the rivers.
Ironically, it’s not just the temperature that is rising in the Highlands. Demand for malts is up, too. You may not have heard of Ardmore Distillery, owned by American giant Beam Global Spirits & Wine, but it’s on track to produce a staggering five million liters of whisky this year. Most of its output will go into Teacher’s Highland Cream, a well-respected blend noted for its strong malt content.
For single-malt fans, a new bottling called Ardmore Traditional is being launched—and it’s excellent. Ardmore has a considerable peat base, and its flavor is complex and earthy; it is whisky with a zesty, oily note, and its rootsy, mushroomy taste mixes perfectly with malt. Pair it with salted nuts and olives after a round. Who knows?Maybe one day we’ll be sipping it chilled as we watch the sun set on another sweltering-hot Scottish summer’s day.
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