Ardbeg Distillery Island of Islay Scotland Whisky from 100 to 200 euros

Ardbeg Heavy Vapours (Commitee Release)

Review of the exclusive bottling fot 2023

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Strength: 50.2%ABV
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon refill
Chillfiltered: No
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Moet Hennessy
Average price: € 140.00
Official website: www.ardbeg.com
Vote: 83/100

Here is the edition for the Ardbeg Committee of 2023, which is part of the recent ‘Planet Ardbeg’ narrative, complete with graphic novel featuring aliens and mysterious events (viewable via QRCode on the bottle), all related to the particular processing of this whisky.
In fact, the name refers to the removal of the purifier, a device located along the lyne arm of the second still (the spirit still) that collects the heavier vapours to condense them and throw them back into the still so that they can be distilled again, thus helping to lighten the final mixture. The production of this bottling therefore lacked this sort of partial redistillation, making it (on paper) the ‘most exaggerated Ardbeg ever’, a claim admittedly heard before…
Released in a limited edition for Committee members on 18 April, it will have its usual reduced-strength version on Ardbeg Day in June.

Tasting notes

Not so old is this NAS, at least judging by the nose, in which the vegetal notes intertwine with the malt ones quite predominantly, with plenty of white fruit (lots of pear with unripe banana and white melon), almonds, sugar paste and a light dusting of paprika. The peat is rather gentle, toasted juniper wood from which mineral veins and some coastal touches emerge over time. Alcohol is completely absent in this quite sweet and pleasing aromatic palette.
On the palate, the ‘substance’ extolled by the name takes the form of a soft creaminess in the mouth, where the citric aspect (lemon, chinotto) takes the lead in the flavours, surrounded by spices (pepper, cloves and more paprika), with peat raising the tonality of the toasted vegetable and nuts, with the sweet part acting as counterpoint: custard, cola gelèe, candied pear, puffed cereal and milk chocolate (like the Kinder snack). The coastal and mineral part has almost vanished, just a few balsamic velleities along the length.
The finish is not very long, where citric, sweet and vegetal notes chase each other with handfuls of peat.

Once again, a pitch that’s not matched in the glass, with a dram that is anything but heavy and, indeed, rather light despite its overall pleasantness. More interesting on the nose than in the mouth, but not enough to justify an edition that really isn’t that special.

Reviews of Ardbeg whisky

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: