I know it is a bit late for reviewing this release as there are a lot of reviews online already, but I don’t want to keep my ramblings about this new yearly Ardbeg Day Release private, so here we go. This year’s release is inspired by the World championship soccer which to me isn’t appealing at all (I don’t like soccer) so let’s hope the dram is better enjoyable than a watching a soccer match. It comes at a quite relaxed 49,9%. Some say only 6660 bottles are around; others go as far as 50.000. One thing for sure it is continuing the rise in euro’s to be paid to get your hands on this one (Dutch retail around 90 euro, now already selling for much more). I hope it will stop and not getting above the 100 quid for a nas whisky. Enough about the background, time to taste.
Nose: Arbeggian nose. At first a bit restraint but followed by intense smokiness and peat. In the background some different lighter notes, seems a bit like vanilla pods and a hint of citrus. Third nosing shows somewhat chalkiness followed by the smell of hot smoked fish. Some light peppery notes also. Pleasant but relatively gentle (the lower ABV perhaps) and very well balanced.
Taste: A bit sweet/creamy at first. Quite easy to keep rolling it around your mouth for a longer time until the heat and smoke is burning on your tongue. Quite medicinal taste. Lots of ash and charcoal grilled meats. Also a balanced amount of oakiness. Quite a bit eastern style spiced due to the cinnamon.
Finish: Powerful peated and spicy finish, but never unbalanced, just giving enough power to wait for a next sip if you can restrain yourself because at the same time you want more. Enslaving. A touch of espresso bitterness at the final part of the finish to keep the balance with a sort of creamy, lightly sweetened background. Like it!
Conclusion: This dram is good, very good and way betters then the Galileo. But in my mind I prefer the original Ardbeg Day just a tad more. Balanced is the keyword with this new release and it is extremely well balanced and a very pleasant drinkable whisky. The price? Hmmm can’t get over it that it is somewhat or more likely quite a bit overpriced, but I am still happy that I have some of it in the collection. Scoring it? Hmmm guess it will be just short of the 90 so let’s say 89 points ?