SMWS Ardbeg , 33.70 , “Keith Richards Meets Socrates Classics”

The Second tasting notes of SMWS bottling, as promised. This time an Ardbeg, aged in Sherry casks (Sherry Gorda) for 10 years. A sherry Ardbeg is always something interesting, as most OBs are not sherry matured. I find that Sherry and Peat is a pairing i quite like (Uigedail for example, Classic of Islay 9 yo, Lagavulin 21 etc.…) . Now let’s see how well did the SMWS pick this time…


Ardbeg SMWS 33.70, 10 year old , 57.30% ABV ,848 bottles , 848 bottles, £54 (out of stock)


Nose: Sweet smoke up front, with some honey sugars, and some hints of meat  bouillon, which one finds sometimes in sherry matured whiskies.
Palate: Wow. Ultra ashy, like putting your tongue inside a full ashtray that has not been emptied a few days, in a bar. Ashes, dry ashes, galore. later sweet sherry notes mixed with smoke, tar, soot, charred wood, and some liquorice. Yes, I  know Ardbegs are usually ashy, but this one takes the ashy theme to extremes. If you like it, it’s your dram, if not, leave it alone. The sweet, sherry,winey notes mixed well with the Smokey,sooty,ashy side, there is a very delicate interplay between the two, where you switch “ashy” and “sweet” every few seconds. a delight.
Finish : Smoke,BBQ sauce grilled meat & ash.

Bottom line:

For the lovers of ash,a heaven on earth. for the rest, forget it!  look elsewhere. Overall ,Great sweet/smoke interplay. A stunner IMHO.

Score : 90/100

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