Feis Ile 2015 was a blast. Or so I was told by friends who attended the Festival. There were many events, lots of music, food and of course lots of whisky. As usual, there were special Festival bottlings by all Islay distilleries and although I wasn’t around, I was lucky enough to secure myself a few samples of them via friends.
This Feis Ile, marked the 200th birthday celebration by Laphroaig and Ardbeg and both distilleries released a special bottling to celebrate the event. Ardbeg bestowed upon the world Ardbeg Perpetuum – a blend of old and young whisky, matured in both bourbon and sherry casks. How special is it? Is it a worthy release for the 200th birthday?
Ardbeg Perpetuum Distillery Release (49.2%, £85)
Nose: Hmm, this one has a young and hot nose but thankfully no new make notes. There’s abundant of cereals, honey and vanilla, leading to a very fresh and oily nose. Of course there’s sweet peat and some ashes but it’s far away from the ashy nose of the Ardbeg 10 and much more delicate and rounded. After a few minutes in the glass it’s getting sweeter with fruits, stewed fruits, hint of lemon curd and sugared cereals.
Palate: Very sweet on the palate with peat & fruits, followed by chocolate, dash of acrid smoke, burning charcoals and a bit of ash.
Finish: Medium length, sweetness, peat, very little ash and smoke and generally very mellow and round.
Thoughts: Truth be told I expected for more. As a special release for the 200 years celebration I wanted an Ardbeg bomb that will drop my jaw on the floor and unfortunately, this one isn’t fitting the bill. If we look at liquid itself without all the hoopla around it, it’s a nice delicate Ardbeg but it’s not for those who love the sharp and pungent profile of the OB Ardbeg bottlings. And no, I’m not going to say anything on it’s price beyond “It’s too pricey for what it delivers” (especially if you buy on the secondary market for £200-£400.