Ardbeg Distillery Island of Islay Scotland Whisky from 200 euros and over

Ardbeg Single Cask 2013-2021

Review of an ex-Manzanilla single cask

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Strength: 60.9%ABV
Ageing cask: Ex-Manzanilla second fill
Chillfiltered: No
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Moet Hennessy
Average price: € 500.00
Official website: www.ardbeg.com
Vote: 90/100

A rather rare (and expensive) edition of a single cask produced directly from the distillery, made exclusively for Ardbeg Embassies around the world, this is a distillate produced on 20 February 2013 that has spent its ageing in a second-fill manzanilla Sherry butt, creating 671 bottles on 8 September 2021, so eight years later.
Very cask strength for what, as the great Ardbeg aficionado that I am, is a bottle that creates quite a few expectations.

Tasting notes

Despite the demanding strength, the nose reveals itself to be rather gentle, with the initial wave of dark, full-bodied peat giving way to smoky sandalwood and bark on which crisp bacon sizzles. Roasted almonds, flambéed banana and charred marshmellow declin the smoky tones, with a dusting of nutmeg and a faint hint of cinnamon completing the picture. It becomes rounder over time, accentuating the sweeter component and allowing flashes of plums to shine through. Captivating and warming.
On the palate, it attacks with a lively peppiness, very crisp, which brings out the fruity component (plum, banana, currant, bitter orange) intertwined with nuts, malt and barbecue (bacon and sausages), with a very pronounced saline vein, especially along the length. Slight medicinal note in the background, with spices and ashy ambitions chasing each other in the mouth. The alcohol is there, but more as a sidekick than a protagonist.
The finish is long and dry, of citrus, pepper, salt, nuts and an extinguished fireplace.

An alcoholic bomb in which the alcohol content knows how to do its job of exalting aromas and flavours, the cask has worked hard without covering the essence of the distillate but knowing how to tame its asperities, leading to a very pleasant and rich drink, free of smears or excesses. Excellent.

Reviews of Ardbeg whisky

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