Provenance: Islay (Scotland)
Typology: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry and charred Virgin Oak
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Moet Hennessy
Average price: € 59.00
Official website: www.ardbeg.com/en-int
I return to what, I won’t hide, is one of my favourite distilleries, with a bottling launched in September 2017 whose name comes from a sheltered and tranquil Islay valley: is this a statement of intent?
The result of the marriage of several casks, including ex-Bourbon, ex-Pedro Ximénex Sherry and charred virgins, which came together in the new (at the time) French Oak Gathering Vat, located in what used to be a grain store.
An Oa was the first addition to Ardbeg’s core range in many years, thus creating many expectations.
Did they betray or confirm them?
The colour is a light amber.
It’s almost needless to say that the aroma immediately brings peat, gentler than usual but still ashy, of burnt wood, with notes of sultanas, vanilla, a touch of lemon and apple. The ocean appears a little muted, in the background. Ardbeg, but different from the usual.
The palate is warm and welcoming, with an initial alcoholic sting, continuing in the groove of the lit bonfire over which roast caramelised oranges, liquorice sticks, lemon zest, a gratin of pepper and a handful of seaweed. All very calm, smooth, without the muscular tonicity of other bottlings from the distillery. The burnt wood component tends to prevail, however.
And indeed, in the finish it is the ash that accompanies us for a long time, with a touch of liquorice and pepper.
A whisky created to be more introductory than the ten year old, see also the relatively low price.
Made not to upset, a sort of Ardbeg for candid souls: if this was the intention, it has hit the mark, but personally I expect more.
Other bottlings in the blog:
Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist 2007
Ardbeg Blaaack (Committee Members Release)
Ardbeg Blaaack Limited Edition
Ardbeg Dark Cove
Ardbeg Drum (Committee Members Release)
Ardbeg Supernova SN2019
Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19yo Batch 1
Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19yo Batch 2
Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5yo
The Whiskey Wash