A Triple Stack of Ardbeg
Nope not a triple stack of pancakes but instead a triple stack of interesting and very different Ardbeg whiskies.
Two offical bottlings and one independant bottling as I try the Kildalton 2014, the Airigh Nam Biest and the Maverick Drinks 21 Year Old Darkest.
All different and all sublime in their own way, the Kildalton allowing the subtle sweetnesses that get hidden by much of the peat smoke to come through gently, whilst Airigh Nam Biest adds a layer of lemon sweetness that just really works for me and then the treacley goodness of the 21 Year Old Darkest is just yummy.
I really couldn't pick a favourite from these 3 drams but each one in it's own way.
Thanks again to Johnnie (@johnniestumbler), Yoav (@yoavgel) and Maverick Drinks for the samples.
Ardbeg 21 Yr PX Cask Finish (Darkness)
Part of the Darkness series of drams from Maverick Drinks where they are finishing whiskies in 50L ex sherry casks for a matter of months giving a unique taste and flavour.
This Ardbeg 21 year old was matured for an additional 3 months in a 50l ex Pedro Ximénez cask which has imparted some of the jammiest, stickiest, treacliest flavours i've ever had in an ardbeg, this is truely a work of art.
Unfortunately all gone now, keep an eye on Master of Malt for more of this trickery and flavour.
Many thanks to Maverick Drinks for the official sample
Initially there's some huge hits of treacle thick plum jam and sweet molasses then there's a whiff of earthy smoke with sweet purple heather that comes with citrus notes hiding way in the background
Sweet chewy treacle covered fruit salad chews and honey roast root vegetables with a smoky earthy peatiness and heather and grass.
Chewy treacle and earthy veg
Ardbeg Airigh Nam Biest (2007 bottling)
Thanks to my good friend Yoav (@yoavgel) from Whisky Gospel for the sample of this 2007 bottling of Ardbeg Airigh Nam Biest.
This really is a Beast of a dram with that lovely Earthy smoky peatiness that you expect with Arbbeg and that lemony undertone that comes from the good ones.
Although the 2007 bottling seems to be gone everywhere The Whisky Exchange still have some 2008 bottling if you fancy giving it a try.
There is a hint of earthy peat smoke with heather and moss and vegetation but there is more yeasty undercooked doughy bread like notes in there also along with oodles of crushed lemongrass with a twist of lemon peel oil
Citrus peel oil and waxy mouthfeel with earthy dusty vegetables and uncooked scones and crushed lemongrass
Lemony and doughy
Ardbeg Kildalton Project 2014
An interesting dram the Ardbeg Kildalton Project 2014 with this review based on a sample provided by Johnnie Stumbler (@johnniestumbler) from The Nosing Arse blog.
Ardbeg Kildalton has been launched to raise money for The Kildalton Project, which is part of the North Highland Initiative (NHI) – a charity inspired by the “sustainable” vision of Prince of Wales that seeks to support “fragile, rural communities” across the North Highlands.
The project, a collaboration between the Ardbeg Distillery, owned by The Glenmorangie Company, and the NHI, will help build a new community hub in Port Ellen.
Exclusively available from the Ardbeg Distillery, limited edition Ardbeg Kildalton is named after the iconic 1,200-year-old Kildalton Cross.
I tasted this initially over at the distillery and even bought a bottle, and was lucky to get it signed by Mickey Head, but i did think at the time it was a bit MEH!!! but then i had tasted a good number of other more powerful drams prior to this, so thanks again to Johnnie Stumbler (@johnniestumbler) for letting me try this again, this is more up my street its very Blasda like in my book and as such i think i will open my own bottle sometime soon.
The nose on this is light and gentle and although there's an edge of earthy smoke that reminds me of Ardbeg Blasda with a lovely sweet citrus and malt biscuit notes with hints of buttery custard cream filling.
Sweet and juicy with earthy smoke much stronger than the nose... There's also a citrus peel waxy mouthfeel that works really well here.
Gentle earthy smoke and waxy lemon peel