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Ardbeg Ardbog

Manzanilla

0 788

@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

4th Jun 2013

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    88

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Ardbeg Day, launched in 2012 for the first time, is a new holiday for peatfreaks. Or is it? Because while Ardbeg Day is a great whisky, the Galileo (a mix of bourbon and marsala casks) was received with mixed emotions by the die-hard Arbeggians. The first reactions to this new Ardbog (a mix of 10 year old American white oak and manzanilla sherry casks) are a mixed bag as well. I guess there is nothing left but to try it ourselves, eh?

The nose is immediately oily and salty, like cured ham and olives. Peat, surely, but a lot less than I would have expected. Sweet ashes. Wet earth. Rocky coast. Far from fruity or sweet like the Galileo (which I put next to it for the occassion). The salt might be from the manzanilla of course, as this dry sherry from Andalusia (Spain) is known to be a bit salty. If you leave it for five minutes, it does show a sweet side.

It is surprisingly soft on the palate. Immediately very salty, like on the nose. Quite overpowering, blocking everything else out for a few moments. Only midpalate does the meaty and sweet character surface. Nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon. Nuts, too. Almonds to be precise. Caramelized apples and some toffee now. Nice development. Mildly drying towards the end. It is only at said end that the peat shines through with a grand smokiness. I find it rather complex.

The finish is long, smoky and dry.

Like the Galileo, it may be too far away from hardcore Ardbeg to many peatfreaks. Too much manzanilla influence, they may think. But for me, it works. I find it better than the Galileo, it easily outshines the Rollercoaster and Alligator, but it is still no match for the Day, Airigh Nam Beist, Supernova, let alone the Uigeadail or Corryvreckan.

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7 comments

@Nolinske
Nolinske commented

Thanks mark! I've been waiting for a nice proper review of this one I'm still on the darn fence about purchasing it, but ardbeg always seems to get me coin.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

How do you feel about the relatively young ages of these no age statement Ardbegs? Personally, I would like to see older casks blended in. I have heard that Uigeadale, for instance, had older casks blended in when it first came out, as opposed to now. Do you think that Ardbog is a relatively young whisky?

8 years ago 0

@markjedi1
markjedi1 commented

This is again a 10 year old, which is rather young indeed. But you may have noticed that this seems to be a direction that the industry is going in to keep up with demand. That also makes this a rather expensive bottle imho (85 EUR). But if the whisky is as good as this, all is forgiven.

8 years ago 0

kian commented

Why dont Ardbeg follow what the likes of lagavulin laphroaig and bowmore do and just release a non finished standard 10 Year Cask Strength, even if it is a just a limited release? All these finishes and experiments they do actually put me off buying it

8 years ago 0

Jonathan commented

Your video review is informative and a lot of fun. Although I'd probably give the 'bog a higher rating, I pretty much agree with your take on both Ardbog and the quality of the general releases, especially those that started as Committee releases (Uigeadail, Corry).

On the other hand, at least the newer Committee releases are being made accessible to a wider audience. I wonder if Ardbeg is not using Ardbeg Day in order to see what expressions might be worth adding to the line.

I also wonder what measures it would take to make something like Ardbog into a general release. They would need to mature x amount of whisky in manzanilla sherry casks for ten years without knowing whether this stuff will actually sell--etc.

8 years ago 0

@26goingon62
26goingon62 commented

Yeah good review, got me 2 bottles, IMO worth it.

7 years ago 0

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