It’s week #3 of August and It’s Ardbeg Month. Time for tasting the Supernova 2010 Release, I’ve been waiting a long time to sample.
The Peat wars continue, and this time with Ardbeg’s peated beast – 2010 version. Peated to over 100 ppm (a bit lower than the Octomore 2.2 released this year ) It’s Ardbeg’s most violent, and peaty of malts. Not for the faint of hearted, or those intimidated by tons of peat, smoke and tar. I’ve tasted last year’s 2009 release and quite liked it back then, but sadly i have no tasting notes left from that whisky society meeting. It’s true I’ve tasted this one as part of the Whisky*Israel Peat summit we held two weeks ago, but i needed more time with it, in the comfort of my home , and a second chance to fully appreciate it. This time i sampled it with and without water, after letting it rest for quite some time in my Glencairn glass.
Let’s start the dramming then, shall we?
Ardbeg Supernova 2010 , 60.1% , ABV ,£80
Nose: Oh mama. Peat smoke in kilos. Alcohol is felt ok. I let it rest quite a bit in the glass before sniffing again. Under all those layers of peat you can find lemon zestiness, apples (green) some hints of vanilla and burnt sugar.Also Rubber, Tar and some wet gauche paint and petrol. Freshly laid PVC in a gym hall . Throws me back quite a while to a time when i was a kid playing basketball in our new PVC laid gym.
Palate : Wham! it’s like a hammer on your palate. Strong stuff, big flavours. starting with the sweeter burnt sugar and maltiness then dark chocolate and double , i take it back, quadruple espresso.Tar all over, smoke in Kilos and peat all over the place. Some pepper as well, as well as chilli and soot. damn spicy on the tongue.
Finish : Bitter espresso,pepper and smoke fills your mouth for minutes. Tar. This one literally lasts minutes in your mouth. hours, days. man! this is an endless finish, like it or not. It’s something.
This one is definitely not your daily dram. it’s biting, very very tough and needs a lot of water in order to be tamed. Today is a very hot summer day when i am tasting it in the comfort of my A/C, but it’s a classic for a windy, thunderstorm night. So, do i like it? Yes i do, but do i like it enough to be getting a bottle of this? Probably not. I guess some of you think i am out of my mind, a peat freak like me, not in need of this peaty monster? Well, it’s not very cheap, and I think i do prefer Octomore 2.2 over this one. I can’t put my finger on it, this is not a bad dram, it’s actually very good, but should this be the 2011 whisky of the year (In J.Murray’s bible) ? I think not. Chances that it will, but that’s a different story.
If i had to choose a peat monster to be on my shelf, I’d go either with the PC8 or the Octomore 2.2 ( I hear Octomore 3.0 is coming out really soon, and can’t wait to have my way with it 😉 ).
Sorry Beloved Ardbeg, this time the Laddie has won, at least in my book.
Many thanks to Igal my friend for sharing his SN2010 bottle with us, and letting me sample this one.