Provenance: Islay (Scotland)
Typology: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Moet Hennessy
Average price: € 153.00
Official website: www.ardbeg.com/en-int
Let’s go back in time to 2008, a leap year in which there was no global pandemic, so it wasn’t so bad, despite the fact that an asteroid (one of many) more or less touched the Earth.
It was the year in which Obama won his first election, just a few months after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (OK, there was a bit of bad luck), with the consequent collapse of the world stock markets: it’s almost funny to think about it now…
2008 was also the year when Ardbeg, never content to simply make a great whisky, came out with a low peated limited edition (8ppm) and 40% minimum strength, available in 18,000 bottles and which has been around for a couple of years (but can still be found at relatively humane prices).
On paper, the idea is not so far-fetched, a sort of “What if?” of Marvellian memory in which they try to create a peated whisky for everyone, light and pleasant (and chillfiltered), just to see how it goes.
Of course, a limited edition for everyone is an oxymoron, but you’re not going to split peat, are you?
Straw yellow in the glass.
As you might expect, the peat on the nose is not the usual asphalt pour but a smoky, sweetish accent, with just a hint of acidity, on a light body of yellow fruit (pineapple, peach, apple), vanilla, caramel, cereal, lemon. Herbaceous background note. Undecided but not unpleasant.
In the mouth, it’s rather watery, of little consistency, with a peppery hint on a slightly ashy profile which is accompanied by sweet and fruity notes but in a lesser tone, practically mirroring them but dissolved in water, without flair or personality, all quite monotonous and colourless.
Short finish with a rather alcoholic tone, dry, of used ashtray, cereal, hazelnut, wood.
If the intention was to offer a watered-down Ardbeg, they have succeeded: the problem is that they have obtained a whisky that probably displeases everyone, the aficionados who find a glass of water with a few drops of whisky, the novices who get the wrong idea about the distillery.
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 Jug