After a short taste a while ago, this weekend I was able to taste the Ardbeg Day whisky again at the DH17’s Ardbeg Day event. Again there wasn’t much space to taste it properly, but luckily I was able to buy one hole bottle (later followed by a sample of the this whisky found in DH17’s Dramset number 4). So time to taste it again and in a proper way. But first I want to say something. It has no doubt that the marketing machine of Ardbeg was working overtime for this event. I was lucky enough to get me a bottle for the normal price of 70 euro, but by studying the internet I found prices in excess of 200 euro’s already for this same bottle. Nuts! especially while it occurred to be a limited release of 12.000 bottles! Probably those bottles will be closed, mine won’t and that is why whisky in my humble opinion is made, to enjoy it alone or better with a group of friends. Okay that is of my mind, so let us do the serious work and see what all the fuss is about. ABV is at 56,7% and the whisky will be tasted in a Libbey Tasting Glass.
At pouring the dram you instantly are getting lots of Ardbeg styled peat and smokiness, very clear and present. Even some Iodine and engine oil is clouding your nostrils. But then it happens, after the initial blast it develops a sweeter nose which will be the work of the sherry casks present in this dram. Hints of vanilla, dried fruits, grasses (hay) and butterscotch appearing. Mind you the peat and smokiness aren’t gone and are still lingering at the background in a pronounced matter. A third nosing displaying even more scents including some wood spices and shitake mushrooms (?)
Starting off with a powerful explosion of peat, smoke and ashes. Quite easy to hold in your mouth though, despite the higher alcohol level. Again as with the nose, a second sip displays more depth to this dram. It is getting a bit salty, combined with a touch of burnt sugar and vanilla. Also the sherry keeps playing with hints of dried fruits, but in your mouth the power of the peat is overpowering those flavours more then on the nose, but there is a nice touch of sherried sweetness to it. It isn’t as balanced as the Uigeadail I reviewed earlier, probably because of the use of younger casks I guess.
Well the finish is quite long with the lingering ashes and burnt wood smells getting back to your nostrils and just a bit of a very pleasant burning sensation at the back of your tongue. The sherry casks are forcing this whisky into a little bit drying finish with hints of dried fruits, but more burnt or barbecued fruits and meat.
As I stated already to me this is just a tad less balanced then the great Uigeadail expressions. It is definitely an Ardbeg though and very very pleasant (off note: I will do extremely good with a grilled Ardbeg marinated pork , as I did combine these two together at the Ardbeg BBQ last Saturday).
Very pleasant Ardbeg, not as stunning as the Uigeadail and not as powerful as the Corryvreckan, but just excellent fitting in the range of Ardbeg. I am happy to own a bottle and it will be opened sometime in the future. Points : 90