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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 16, 2014


Two Ardbeg including that one

Two NAS Ardbeg including that one
All right all right all right, now that the Brazilian World Cup is over, I thought we could as well have a go at Ardbeg’s Auriverdes. WF might well be the last ‘blog’ to try this newish baby, but indeed I had thought there was absolutely no rush. And first, another NAS for due comparison… (that’s the problem with NAS, it’s hard to build proper tasting flights – either horizontal or vertical ones.)

Images of Islay 'Eilean a Chuirn Lighthouse' (53.2%, Malts of Scotland, 227 bottles) Four starsThe name of the distillery is nowhere to be found on the label, but the Eilean a Chuirn Lighthouse is located not too far from the Kildalton Cross, which might (I insist, might) suggest this could be Ardbeg indeed. Colour: white wine. Nose: very sharp, very grassy and ultra-austere at first nosing. We’re very close to young Ardbeg ex-refill indeed. After two or three minutes, it’s the earth that comes out, together with mercurochrome and rather more fruits, but I would not call this a fruity nose. Bandages, green apples, rhubarb peel. With water: more soaked barley and bread, while the peat remains pretty shy. No peat monster for sure. Also brine. Mouth (neat): big, very grassy, ashy and peppery in the arrival. A sooty side, something accordingly acrid, then grapefruit skin. Always rather austere, but it really does the job. With water: simple but quite lovely. Pepper and ashes, smoked barley, touches of orange cake. Finish: medium length. Salt, pepper, grapefruits, one cranberry. More straight smokiness in the aftertaste. Comments: much to my liking despite its narrowness. We’re very far from the 1970s, but this baby sure does the job. SGP:366 - 85 points.

Ardbeg 'Auriverdes' (49.9%, OB, 2014) Three stars and a halfOr ambush marketing in malt whisky! Let’s only hope this baby will perform better than the team that was wearing similar colours during the World Cup. Colour: pale gold. Nose: same whisky, with an extra-layer of oak. I have to say this seems to work pretty well, because it’s not coconutty oak, rather burnt chips and even charcoal. Also wee notes of ripe bananas. Other than that, same combination of mercurochrome, bandages, grass and earth. With water: some marzipan coming out, café latte, custard… And not much peat either. Mouth (neat): definitely ‘modern’, in the sense that the first flavour you get is that of new oak. Grated nutmeg, ginger, strong black tea, cinnamon. And then more new-Ardbeg goodness, lemon, salt, pepper, ashes, grapefruits… Especially the saltiness is very obvious – and pleasant. With water: same. The oak’s spiciness is in the front row. Finish: quite long, on oaky pepper and ashes. Salt and lemon in the aftertaste. An alternative to a tequila shot? Comments: indeed I do prefer less new oak in my whisky, but I would not cry with the wolves. I find this Auriverdes very all right – although I like the regular Ten better. SGP:456 - 84 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Ardbeg I've tasted so far


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback in St Tropez







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