So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Ardbeg: A young special, a young standard and a young independent

This was more tiring that I thought it would be, this is a big big distillate, and 2 of them at least were big big whiskies. It is one thing to drink and another to dissect!

Ardbeg is a name synonymous with heavy peat and coastal influence. Where do these maritime flavours come from? It’s all about the peat. The make up of Islay peat is different from mainland peat, and its effect on malt is correspondingly different. Test this for yourself, try some Ardmore, or heavily peated Tomintoul. Peatiness without the taste of the sea are their markers.


Ardbeg Kildalton 2014 46%

Nose: They said this iteration of Kildalton is gentle, and so it is! But its components are stereotypical. Salt air, lost rubber boot filled with muddy brine, a couple of somewhat wrinkled lemons to keep scurvy at bay, burning seaweed, cigarette ash. A clean and natural Ardbeg though rather simple. Feels like refill bourbon. Peat phenols of course but somewhat muted. As gentle as say the Airigh Nam Beist, but without the complexity and body.

Palate: Well it’s all there in parts, though clearly not in spades, but the briney ashy aspect really stands up after a few moments. But it’s all rather simple and erm.. flat. 46% is too low for this one, feels washed out.

Finish: Medium, ash and sea air.


No. Not one of the greats. Still, very pristine and pure martime flavours. A pale image of Ardbeg past? I know a few who will heartily disagree with me on that one.



Ardbeg batch4

Ardbeg Batch 4, That Boutique-y Whisky Company 52.4%

Nose: A clear genealogy from the Kildalton but a little bit rawer, maybe younger too, but thicker, more resinous and oilier. Bigger in the phenols, dirtier with hints of spearmint in the peat. Also the tell tale scent of peated malt bins. Not much lemons here but sweetened by some toffee and sweet wood. My guess 7-9 years in first fill bourbon. With water: The Ardbegness really opens up with telltale markers coming though, plus some acrid burnt grass.

Palate: Lots of smoke and smoky hot and charred flavours. More hot pans, some lemon now. More ‘raw’ malt bins, sour leaf of ‘something’. Intense but also still straightforward.

Finish: Rather long, really smoky and big.


Isn’t this a brashly big bold young one. Rather straightforward yes but heaping spades of what its got.



Ardbeg corry

Ardbeg Corryvreckan 57.1% ~2014

Nose: The thickest of the three, with smoking caramel, and fudge and sweet dry tobacco. Also chest rub and bbq smoke. Interestingly not overtly phenolic and in fact a little closed at this abv. With water: Boom. Hugely phenolic, complex too. Some sweet stewed fruit. Thick BBQ sauce. Somewhat dirty with less of these coastal notes but an array of these earthy rooty damp vegetal notes. Wet ropes? Corryvreckan is said to contain some fresh French Oak, but after 6 years worth of releases, who knows!

Palate: Not massively smoky like Batch 4, but quite dark and complex, some toffee sweetness plus some smoked fruit sweetness. Also quite a bit of wood in here and with it some dark wood like spices (licorice?), also quite rather earthy and less pure coastal. Well blended.

Finish: Long, phenols, sweet and sour.


Surprisingly complex and quite a few steps in the direction of sweet. Where has all the aged stock gone, given it’s relatively young stuff in here, will we see a return of the 17? Anyway despite its youth its actually pretty good. Isn’t it great the standard Uigaedail and Corryvreckan are still some of the better modern Ardbegs you can get?

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This entry was posted on November 16, 2015 by in Ardbeg, Uncategorized and tagged .
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