2014’s Ardbeg day whisky, to be released on May 31st. Matured in American oak casks with specially toasted cask lids. I didn’t get Ardbog until recently, I’m pleased to be on the front foot this time.
Nose - Classically sweet, peat Ardbeg, certainly not too tarry or ashen, with a rather lovely balance. A little bit of medicine, a little bit of meat, a lot of sweet peat and a beautifully earthen edge to it that I find instinctively addictive. The whisky, like most Ardbegs (except Corryvreckan in my humble opinion), ably demonstrates why people get so hooked on Ardbeg.
Body - Unexpected chocolate with the smoke. The rich, creamy oak blends very well with the milk chocolate and vanilla. Why didn’t they think of this before?
Finish - Here’s the ash, but its not tarry - it’s toasted and a belt of espresso in the (medium, but reasonably uneventful) finish.
What's not good about it: I hesitate to call out a lack of intensity, given the intensity of the single cask IBs I’ve been considering recently, but it’s a little bit like that. However, I don’t always want the insanity of single cask, and this is fab.
What’s good about it: Sweet peat, and extra cream and vanilla from the toasted lids - Compass Box must be pretty flattered by this homage. I love the cream, depth, and balance. It’s a strong buy.
Thanks to Ardbeg distillery for the official sample.