Unless you’ve been living on a distant planet, you’ve probably heard quite a lot recently about the latest addition to the Ardbeg range (Limited edition, not core range – mind you). A fast recap for those with short term memory : The name of Ardbeg Auriverdes derives from the colour of the golden whisky (auri) in Ardbeg’s iconic green bottle (verde). Auriverdes is also the nickname of the national football team of Brazil, hosts of this summer’s World Cup, and inspiration behind Ardbeg’s Peat Football tournament which will be happening all around the world on Ardbeg Day, culminating in the Ardbeg Swamp Football World Cup on June 28th and 29th in Argyll, Scotland. The whisky will go on sale May 31st (Ardbeg day) and though I am not sure how many bottle there are, I am pretty sure it’s a lot. Limited and all it’s not THAT limited, after all they want as many people to enjoy (read: buy) this Ardbeg.
What’s “interesting” about this Ardbeg is the casks it was matured in : The toasting technique has given the whisky a distinctive flavour profile as it was aged in American oak casks that have had their lids “specially toasted”. Oh well, toasting is not a new technique, but it’s always interesting to see how various toasting levels (remember Alligator?) change and enhance the Ardbeg spirit (or any spirit for that sake). Let’s dram!
Nose: Sweet and spicy with cinnamon gum , some pine resin, hints of mocha cappuccino ( Note: I often ponder if my tasting notes are affected by the PR blabber i read sometimes, having read this one’s PR previously I knew it was to be expected, but I swear I did find notes of that myself) Lemon. Ash and tar. Rather creamy and some vanilla too.
Palate: Nom. Lovely sweet smoky bacon with bitter espresso and ash. Ardbeg DNA no doubt here, very distinguishable.Also quite medicinal & spicy and savoury with some dark 80% chocolate sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon powder.
Finish: Very long. Smoky chocolates , and also very dry. Ash and soot.
People keep on asking me (on social media mostly) so how is it? should I get one? Is it good? Is it better than last year’s version? and so on. Well there is no easy answer. It’s a lovely whisky for drinking. It’s tasty, it’s got the right complexity, and Ardbeg fans would like it very much. But, that can also be said about the Ardbeg 10 year old. The question is : Is this dram worth the 80 quid / 130 $ it will set you back? I quite liked this whisky and will consider buying it for actually drinking (and not collecting), if you’re like me, into drinking Ardbegs then you should give this Ardbeg a try. Don’t expect wonders, or thick mocha and vanilla on both sides of the glass. But do expect a yummy Islay, with the right balance,and a rather nice ex-Bourbon influence.
PR or no PR, Ardbeg does create pleasing whiskies.
Official sample Provided by Ardbeg
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