Ardray: The blended Scotch could be your dream drop for Mother’s Day

Launched last year, the smoother-than-smooth whisky expression offers an elegant complexity while remaining easy-going. Kristiane Sherry reckons it could be the perfect dram for Mother’s Day. 

When Beam Suntory launched its new blended Scotch Ardray in summer 2023, it said its vision was to balance multiple layers of flavour. It was an interesting ambition: surely that’s what every new whisky intends to do? Having tasted it multiple times since then, it really is a bottling that lives up to its chat around the artistry of blending. It’s smooth yet bold, expressive yet versatile. It’s an exciting addition to the emerging cohort of modern blended whiskies. So what is Ardray – and what makes it such a strong contender for a Mother’s Day drink?  

In brief, Ardray is a blended Scotch crafted by both Beam Suntory’s chief blender Calum Fraser and Suntory’s blending team. It’s about Scottish ingredients and Japanese perspectives. It feels malt-forward, even though we’re told both malt and grain whiskies are treats “as equals”. And it’s part of a small but growing movement that seeks to question the notion that blends are somehow inferior to single malts.


“[It is] driven by the desire to ensure the true beauty of this blend is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Fraser. “Ardray promises a rich and complex taste, with a distinctive harmony of flavours: a mild, gently floral, and citrusy fruitiness, with a vanilla custard creaminess and a rich, silky mouthfeel and lengthy aftertaste that is unmatched." I love the gentle wisp of smoke, too. 

So the liquid is brilliant. The philosophy and approach make Ardray a great whisky to crack open and share. I also love that it’s been made with cocktails in mind, not just sipping. If you want one bottle to tick multiple boxes on a special occasion, Ardray’s likely to be perfect. 

And then there’s the giftability factor. I've already assumed that your mum likes whisky and you’re in the market for a bottle to impress. The missing link is something both aesthetically pleasing and delicious. Ardray fits the bill on this count, too. 

Step forward artist Lia Melia. Her artwork adorns the outer box that houses Ardray. The splashy, watercolour hues are her visual representation of the character of the whisky – and I love it. The bottle itself is gorgeously textured too. It’s been designed to represent the flowing water of Scotland’s streams and the patters made by the wind blowing across barley fields. Evocative indeed. 

Ardray is glossy, mouthcoating, complex, delicious, sippable, mixable, and it looks good, too. What more could you want from a Mother’s Day bottle?