So many words were written on Ardbeg and the annual Arbeg day releases. Seems like not all is OK in Ardbeg-land as there are dubious marketing failures, continued barrage of NAS releases when it’s mostly relatively young spirit in it and last years’ disappointing release of Perpetuum which for me was the low point of a too quiet 200th anniversary celebrations.
This year release is Ardeg Dark Cove and from the beginning we see marketing failure: Darkest Ardbeg ever? Seriously? All those 70’s releases aren’t counted in the list?
I felt that Ardbeg invincibility got cracked last year and hoped that Dark Cove (putting the brand marketing failure aside) will set them on the right track. Let’s check if it works or not as I review the Committee release with the higher ABV than the more general release.
Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release (55%)
Nose: Classic Ardbeg peat and smoke, but not so ashy at first although this get rectified over time along with meat in sweet sauce and soot. Sweetness originating from the sherry casks – sweet red fruits, more fresh fruit than dried and with jammy edge. I quite like it as it’s not overpowering and there’s a good balance here. With water: sweeter with sherry notes taking the front seat. Continue reading
The inevitable has happened and it seems finally that an aged Ardbeg release, at least according to the new label that popped up on the TTB site, will be on shelves later this year.
It’s been like forever since we saw a new age statement Ardbeg (especially if you exclude ardbog, aged 10yo but not it wasn’t mentioned on the label) and it makes me giddy with excitement and also fills me with dread from the expected price tag (which I bet will be around the £250-£300 mark).
If you put aside the excitement and the fact that most of us will not be able to afford a bottle and look deeper into this forthcoming release, a few interesting facts come up and one brow raising question should be ask. Continue reading
Following a discussion on Facebook yesterday, I promised a review of Ardbeg Ardbog, the Ardbeg day release from 2013.
It’s a vatting of 10 yo Ardbeg spriti from Bourbon and manzanilla sherry casks and I think they got the balance here just right.
13000 bottles were produced and even now, 2.5 years after the release, there are still bottles available for purchase. I’m kinda surprised as I think it’s a good whisky!
Ardbeg Ardbog (52.1%, £125/£150/€139)
Nose: It’s not an aggressive nose with subtle earthy dry peat followed closely by sweet dry wine. in terms of smoke, it’s on the low side of the scale but it’s of the burnt down coals variant. Nice nose balancing nicely peat and sweet. Continue reading
Remember Ardbeg Dark Cove? A possible new Ardbeg whisky that we discovered last month thanks to the required filling in the American TTB database. There were a lot of speculations about it – is it a new core expression? a replacement for Uigeadail?
Since then the water calmed down and the Ardbeg fans went hibernating but guess what? There’s a new filling for Dark Cove at the TTB database with an updated label!
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. Continue reading
Oh, I was supposed to be off today without reviews, but I forgot to post a second Ardbeg review yesterday (along with the Ardbeg Auriverdes) to celebrate the bicentenary of Ardbeg distillery. Therefor here’s a review of the Supernova 2014 I tasted last night to celebrate Ardbeg Day along with my friend Yori.
So Supernova 2014… It’s the third supernova release (following the very successful 2009 and 2010 releases) to celebrate the return to earth of a an ardbeg spirit that spent a couple of years in space. In short, just a marketing gimmick to release another whisky to the faithful followers of Ardbeg
Ardbeg Supernova 2014 (SN2014) (55%, £261)
Nose: A mild surprise here as there’s barely any trace of smoke and the 100+ppm is not aggressive (reminds me the Octomore Discovery in that sense). The peat is earthy and very clean (comparing to other Ardbegs). There’re fruits and lots of mellow lemon cream. With some time in the glass the smoke get stronger but not by much. I tried adding water and the smoke intensified and the fruits notes are lovelier with nectarines and apricots. Continue reading
Last day of Feis Ile is always Ardbeg day. Last year Ardbeg released a festival bottling with a Brazilian theme due to the World Cup at the time.
Ardbeg Auriverdes (Feis Ile 2014) (49.9%, £100)
Nose: Peat, pines resin burning in bonfire, all quite restrained for an Ardbeg whisky (No, Blasda isn’t Ardbeg 😉 ). Coffee, mocha and vanilla. Yes, the promised notes are here on the nose. Continue reading