Tasting: Ardbeg Corryvreckan

ardbeg_corryvreckanDram data:

Distillery: Ardbeg
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2009 (lot: L9 231)
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Price at the time of purchasing: 57€
Casks: french oak + ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 57,1%
Unchillfiltered & natural color
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
The dram has a very nice amber/red-gold colour. On the nose I get an immediate hit of alcohol paired with the very typical, phenolic, punchy Ardbeg peat which people tend to either love or hate – I happen to like it very, very much. Beneath the peat there’s a mixture of white pepper and salt, ginger, kiwi fruit, lemon zest infused pineapple – dominated by quite spicy and rather fresh French oak with the vanilla and very slightly sweet tones from the ex-bourbon casks lingering in the background. On the palate it packs a heavy punch. Phenolic earthiness, grassy, salty, peppery goodness with a slight background sweetness like you wouldn’t believe. It’s like eating pepper-seasoned seafood from a still wet plate of bog-oak with a side-dish of wild berries. It is so overwhelming on the palate I can hardly smell anything when sticking my nose into the glass now. The finish is initially very feisty mellowing down to a very long, peaty, spicy quite sweet aftertaste. Another one of those drams which make me dread brushing my teeth…

Verdict:

This young, feisty spicy, phenolic monster of an Ardbeg is one of the reasons why one shouldn’t look past no-age-statement (NAS) whiskies by principle – because it’s so damn good. Sometimes age doesn’t matter and this dram is a fine example. Very punchy and peaty it is not for the faint of heart (or, god forbid, those who don’t like peated whiskies) – but for the peat lovers out there it is in my opinion an absolute must-try! I prefer to drink it neat or add only the tiniest drop of water to open it up a little bit – but you can add more water if desired, it can handle it. Ardbeg Corryvreckan isn’t cheap, especially considering it isn’t the oldest whisky in the world by any stretch of the imagination (if I had to guess I’d put it at around 10 years or slightly under), but you definitely get your money’s worth. Do your research before buying though – prices encountered “in the wild” do vary considerably.

Score:
93/100

 

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