Ben & Co (the guys behind Master of Malt) are partly genius partly mad, and Geeks 24/7 when it comes to whisky. What haven’t they tried? : Besmoked vodka, chilly vodka, Bathtub Gin,Rumbullion, you name it , they have tried it. Their latest whisky geek idea was to take a few well known malts, and re-distil them in their wee cold still, and produce some kind of new whisky. They have done so to Arbeg 10, Talisker 10, Glenfarclas Movember edition, Lagavulin 16, and Glenmo Nectar d’Or. A rather interesting experiment (and not commercially available), for every whisky geek (read: me) and, so i set to try them one by one Head to head and see how the re-distillation changed the spirit.
I chose the Ardbeg 10 as my first candidate, being one of my all time favourite drams, and one i always have on my bar, and tried many a time. how will they differ, and what did the 2nd distillation do to this well known peated malt? let’s see.
Nose: Very clean. Almost No smoke. Peat. Sweet and rather fruity with some Candy and Sweet peat followed by Pear drops and a bit citrus.
Palate: Quite some smoke and ash. Pepper. Bitter and earthy, with the fruity pear and apple drops.
Finish : Bitter earthy peat and some fruit.
Nose : More smoke and wood notes. Vanilla and campfire. The peat and ash are way more pronounced and less sweet and clean.
Palate : Peppery. Mega ash and lots of smoke. BBQ. Bonfire. Sweeter but not as fruity, but with more citrus.
Finish : Raw Peat. Smoke. Ash. Toasted Wood And vanilla.
If you ask me which one i prefer, the answer is very obvious, with the Regular and well known Ardbeg 10 winning hands on. The redistilled version lacks the wood influence that balanced out the ash, young peat, and is more fruity, sweet, bubble gum-y, and new make-y. It’s very interesting to see how the wood mellows and enhanced those flavours in the regular expression, making it as good and complex and it is, compared to the stripped down redistilled. What a lovely lesson this is!
Bless you guys, for this brilliant idea and experiment, and I am definitely looking forward to tasting the other ones H2H with their non altered counterparts.