You may have been privvy to our exclusive blind tastings, given to selected W Club Members and well-timed in-store customers over the last month. Read all about them here, and on our Instagram page.
We can finally reveal that Ardray was the subject of all this positive buzz. Japanese artistry is the secret ingredient of this gorgeous liquid: a harmonious combination of fine older single malts representing every terrior of Scotland.
The whiskies were then flawlessly crafted to the perfect balance by the Japanese whisky maestros behind the acclaimed Hibiki and Yamazaki expressions. This includes the legendary Suntory Master Blender, Shinji Fukuyo and the great-grandson of the father of Japanese whisky, Shinjiro Torii. Seizo Saji shares his great grandfather's dedication to precision, as the descendant of Japan's very first master blender. The final bottling is the result of dozens of batches, altered in tiny proportions to find that sweet spot that would become the fresh ray of light that is Ardray.
This Japanese influence is reflected in the Ardray logo, taken from a drawing in Torii's autobiography notes, which shows a railway track as the arduous road you must travel to achieve your dreams. Ardray is on a similarly arduous quest to reimagine the excellence of Blended Scotch, through inspired Scotch-Japanese excellence. With a name meaning 'towards the light' in Gaelic, Ardray is always moving forward.
Bottled at 48% abv, the incredibly smooth and layered expression is made for adventurous whisky drinkers, to share their love of the water of life with friends. An exquisite balance from beginning to end, you can expect top notes of apple, clementine and a wisp of smoke.
Our blind tastings have revealed a lot about preconceptions around the perceived quality of single malts compared to blended whisky. We wanted to hear opinions fresh off the tongue, unburdened by descriptors, adjectives and opulent packaging.
Here is some of what our secret tasters had to say:
"I would highly recommend this as it has just the right amount of peatiness for me, and it is accompanied by a rich, round flavour." - Ian
A rich, mellow, satisfying dram. One to savour on an autumn night in front of a roaring fire. - Kirsti
"Sweet to the nose but punchy in flavour. As someone who isn’t always keen on smoky whiskies, this one has me really intrigued with the balance of flavours." - Alex
"An evenly balanced dram. Nothing not to like." - Roy
Learn more about Ardray, here.