Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Moet Hennessy
Average price: € 250.00
Official website: www.ardbeg.com
The first bottling to bear this name dates back to 2008: a limited edition for the Ardbeg Committee, it has had several “sequels” in subsequent years, without any regularity.
There are six versions in all:
2008 – Committee Release of 2,400 bottles at 58.9%;
2009 – Limited version of 21,000 bottles at 58.9%;
2010 – Version named SN2010 at 60.1%;
2014 – Committee Release named SN2014 at 55.0%;
2015 – Committee Release named SN2015 at 54.3%;
2019 – Committee Release named SN2019 at 53.8%.
At its launch, the series celebrated an experiment, carried out in collaboration with the American research company NanoRacks between 2011 and 2012, in which vials containing Ardbeg new make and splinters from their casks were sent into space to study the interaction between the spirit and the wood in the absence of gravity. More information can be found here.
Light gold with copper highlights in the glass.
The nose is initially in the traditional vein, with a fleshy, marine peat that is not particularly pungent, but rather tends to fade over time, making way for light spicy tones (cloves, a hint of pepper), orange, vanilla, lemon peel and a touch of herbaceousness. In the end, the nose reveals itself to be fresher than the usual seafaring brutality, refined even.
And the palate continues with similar connotations, with the alcohol warming without burning and which, together with the oily, marine component, brings to the mouth the same sweetness as the olfactory aromas, if possible even softer and creamier, like vanilla cream, ripe yellow fruit, apple, orange. More spices with cloves and chilli pepper, to which olive pâté is added. The peat is there, don’t worry, mineral, smoky and fishy, but it is not the protagonist.
The finish is moderately long, of chilli, salt, orange (a lot) and charcoal.
Unusually calm and drinkable, an Ardbeg almost for candid souls that strays a little from the comfort zone of enthusiasts without really abandoning them, a halfway house that lacks personality and decision despite being a pleasant dram. The price at which you can find it, it must be said, is totally off-centre and purely inflated by the market.
The Whiskey Wash