Origin: Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Moet Hennessy
Average price: € 700.00
Official website: www.ardbeg.com
Another trip back in time, scrolling through the years to 2010 to arrive at the tenth bottling for the Ardbeg Committee, a whisky that describes itself as a ‘rollercoaster’ of taste, released on 15 February of that year in 15,000 bottles.
And reading the details of this (now extremely rare and expensive) edition, one can actually get a little seasick!
Resulting from the marriage of malts from different vintages, with the intention of gathering the differences in aromas and flavours from ten casks filled between 1997 and 2006, the bottling blended them together in December 2009 following this recipe:
9.5% 1997 whisky ex-Bourbon second fill
12,2% 1998 ex-Bourbon refill hogshead whisky
14,2% of 1999 whisky ex-Bourbon first fill
10.9% of 2000 whisky ex-Bourbon first fill
6,2% of 2001 whisky ex-Bourbon refill
8.9% of 2002 whisky ex-Bourbon refill
11,7% of 2003 whisky ex-Bourbon first fill
10.6% of 2004 whisky ex-Bourbon first fill
10.4% of 2005 whisky ex-Sherry butt second fill
5,4% of 2006 whisky ex-Bourbon refill hogshead
An interesting experiment, in the vein of the oddity of these special bottlings.
Light gold in the glass.
A very humid and maritime nose, initially a little closed, with the peat expressing itself in openly fishy veins, from grilled shellfish mixed in seaweed, with yellow fruit (pineapple, apple, peach), lemon juice, liquorice, cooked cream, pine nuts. The bonfire in front of the sea is accentuated with time, along with spicy touches of cumin and cloves and a whiff of menthol.
The alcoholic bang is notable at first impact, with a marked spiciness (pepper, ginger, cloves) on darker and oilier tones of licorice, tamarind, blood orange juice, berry jam. The peat becomes more acrid and ashy, maintaining a strong coastal (and salty) character, on which the flavours ride, veined with touches of vanilla, shortcrust pastry and fondant. In the distance, burnt tyres and tobacco. Intense.
The finish is long and medicinal, with plenty of salt to dry the lips, liquorice, tabasco, rhubarb and ash.
It lives up to its name, a rich and full-bodied emotional journey, in some respects close to the Corryvreckan but more rigid and grim. Not exactly easy to drink, it requires time and patience, and the finish leaves less than expected after the blows to the palate. But it remains a remarkable experience.