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Ardbeg Auriverdes

Average score from 11 reviews and 11 ratings 83

Ardbeg Auriverdes

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Ardbeg Auriverdes

Released in 2014 to mark the Brazil FIFA World Cup. Quite what links Ardbeg has to Brazil, the World Cup or even football in general is a mystery so it seems a bit of an odd one. But let's just taste it.....

Classic sea spray and smokey nose. A little dollop of treacle, liquorice and fennel there. Seaweed and salty with a nice bit of sweetness rearing up occasionally.

Bonfire smoke and charcoal tempered by a fair bit of sweetness greet the palate. Salty and drying, ever so slight caramel edge. Slight notes of herbs, (or is seaweed again?) Fairly thick, slightly oily mouthfeel.

Finish - sweetness fades to a more bitter lingering finish. Peat-smoke lingers for quite some time.

A nice pleasing whisky and a notch-up from the 10, (as it should be given the price). But it doesn't really break any new ground and given its hefty price tag I doubt I'll seek out a second bottle.


To start with I'm a big fan of Uigedail and the ten year old Ardbeg. Unfortunately, this one is not good! It totally lacks balance and it is mostly sour and bitter in taste. Despite being an Ardbeg fan I ended up giving this bottle to a friend. Hope he likes it better....

NOSE: the best part of the whisky. There is ofcourse a good dose of peat and smoke, some distans fruitiness and a tone of Sugar. TASTE: sharp, smoky, bitter and some bad influence from wood (tannins) makes it unfriendly FINISH: the sour and bitter tones are too present. Not a good finish either unfortunately.

This whisky was a disappointment. Considering the price I paid for it I feel ripped off and I will most likely not buy any other Ardbeg except Uigedail and the ten year old for quite a while - at least not without reading some very good reviews before.

There are some major problems with this whisky. The sourness and the tannins is definately not good. The worst problem though is the lack of balance.

All together I give this whisky a 61, which means I consider it being a crappy whisky. I cannot in any sense recommend it and it is the frist time I have given away an open bottle of whisky. Ardbeg should compensate me for this crap...


Ardbeg is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and beloved malt whisky distilleries in the world. Founded by Alexander Stewart, Ardbeg’s first record as a distillery dates back to 1794, and commercial production began in 1815. During its long history the distillery was closed down on a number of occasions only to be reopened again by new owners each time. After having been mothballed in 1981 the distillery resumed production in 1989 and continued at a low level through to July 1996 when it closed again until the following year. In 1997 Ardbeg distillery was acquired by Glenmorangie plc (who shortly thereafter were taken over by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and production resumed. Ardbeg Auriverdes was released as limited edition for Ardbeg Day 2014. It was matured in American oak casks that came with specially toasted lids: one cask head was toasted lightly (to invoke vanilla flavours), the other one more dark (to invoke mocha coffee flavours). ‘Auriverde’ is a Portuguese term that describes the combination of ‘auri’ (meaning “golden”) and ‘verde’ (meaning “green”).

The nose is grassy and fruity. I got flavours of moss and wet grass, followed by rather light lemon and vanilla notes. Then there was soft peat smoke that developed into rich notes of tar and rubber tire. This is not Ardbeg’s boldest nose but it is complex and multifaceted.

The palate is full-bodied, spicy and intensely smoky. There now are distinct medicinal notes, accompanied by vanilla and lemon flavours. Towards the end coffee and leather make an appearance.

The finish is long and warming and dominated by ashy and tarry flavours. Some salt and lemon flavours round this off. A great finale to this whisky!

This year’s Ardbeg special release belongs to the better ones, in my opinion. I am not sure what exact effects the two different toasted lids were meant to have on the whisky, but the overall result is rather convincing. I especially liked the nose – that was less boastful than that of Ardbeg’s core range malts but that was satisfyingly complex – and the finish that ticked the right boxes. My expectations might not have been high but this one worked for me.


Ardbeg Auriverdes is the 2014 Ardbeg Day bottling. Green and gold are the colours of Brasil, at which the 2014 World Cup was held. 'Saudade' is the one word which describes the very soul of Brazil. Pronounced in Rio de Janeiro "sow dodgee", the word means nostalgic longing. Merely saying this word will touch the heart of almost every Brazilian. Almost all expatriate Brasilians have some degree of 'saudade do Brasil'.

The reviewed sample was compliments of @Nock, from a bottle 1/3 full and open 11 weeks

Nose: nice strong-intensity sharply-edged nose; there is plenty of peat and smoke, but some very nice sweet brown sugar, almost thickened maple-syrup. I am getting some pear and apple fruitiness, along with noticeable caramel and vanilla, more of these last two than I usually notice on Ardbeg noses. I am loving this nose

Taste: I wish that this nose translated to the palate. I do not find that it does. The palate is big on burnt caramel combined with bitter peat and smoke. Wood tannins seem huge here. There is a slight touch of wine influence. The palate moves more toward the sour and bitter midway through the delivery

Finish: plenty of flavour, but it is strongly sour and bitter, with some soft sweetness in the background. The resulting combination is neither balanced nor delicious

Balance: no, this is not very balanced. Peat lovers can love the heavy peat flavours. This one rates pretty low for me among Ardbegs, though I do love the nose. Strong flavours and plenty of peat and smoke are not enough to make me love this whisky

(Water added fuses both the nose and palatal flavours. It does not improve the flavours.)

@Victor. I'm with you on this one. I rarely use water and prefer my whiskey at 95 proof or better. Most of my scotch buddy's add a little water or small shaving of ice. When we share a dram with them I'll indulge and add a drop, I rarely notice a big difference. When I'm at home it's neat.

I read your review of OGD 114 and bought two bottles. I sampled an unopened bottle with Bookers and E. H. Taylor cask strength. It might not have been a fair compassion. OGD 114 is a great value and pretty dram good bourbon. Coming in third to the other two is not a put down. I decided to add a cap full of ice water to the OGD 114, it made a noticeable difference. The tobacco, caramel and wood opened up nicely, enough to hold its own. If you get the chance let me know if you get the same effect? I should have posted this on your OGD 114 review and I might.

@Nock, thanks for joining in. You and I see most matters of whisky taste rather similarly. The biggest difference in taste between us, I would say, has to do with BITTER. You love bitter. From what I've seen there is no amount of bitter which is too much for you. And bitter as the dominant flavour is not only fine with you, it is usually highly desirable to you.

As for me, I can enjoy and accommodate bitter, but for me bitter often becomes too much and destroys the harmony of a whisky, and I only rarely like it as the dominant flavour type. Also, if the whisky didn't start bitter, I usually don't enjoy it to finish bitter. For me, bitter moving toward sweet works much better than sweet moving toward bitter.


When I first heard about Ardbeg Auriverdes being associated with football, I thought Green Street Hooligans or Football Factory. But after I tasted Auriverdes, it was more like Shaolin Soccer. And I mean it in a good way. This one's more into the technique than into straight forward kick ass style.

Slightly different from other Ardbegs, still keeping on with the quality standards of the famous Islay distillery. Great whisky.

Nose: Vanilla and citrus fruits with peat and oak. Smoke is sophisticatedly present.

Taste: Medicinal and fruity. Peachy with floral touch, very juicy sweet and smooth.

Finish: Fruits fade with peat and sour tones rising.

Balance: Great balance, good dram, usual Ardbeg quality in unusual-Ardbeg palate.

Agree with the score. Very good version of Ardbeg that has a different twist. I even went back and bought two more. However, you don't mention fresh espresso grounds, which I definitely get in the nose and especially the palate.

Unfortunately I didn't get any of that mocha/coffee feel, that the specially toasted cask lids were supposed to give. It's nice to hear that some people have experienced it, like you @Taco. Still, a fine dram, even though I managed to miss 'em...


Now that the storm about the new Ardbeg had died down a bit, I feel comfortable enough to share my tasting notes with you. Auriverdes can be explained as Auri (gold) and Verdes (green), referring to the color of the liquid and the color of the bottle in which it is captured. And of course gold and green are also the colors of the hosting country of the World Cup that is now behind us. Anyway, after loads of PR blurbs, marketing tricks and whatnot, this bottle now easily fetches double of its original retail price of about 90 EUR (which is what I paid for it). Oh, well.

Ah, the nose is classic Ardbeg, so we are off to a good start. Smoked ham, mackerel and salmiak. Mustard seeds? The peat is very outspoken. The fruit is lemon and banana. A touch of moccha. Mildly peppery with some vanilla in the mix. Trace of iodine, hint of espresso and marzipan. Becomes sweeter if you allow it to breath. Yes, this is wonderfully complex and simply delicious.

Pretty spicy on the palate. Before the sweetness feistily explodes (which is will), I get some ginger, pepper, nutmeg and loads of medicinal notes. Wonderful smokiness. Then some bacon on the BBQ and citrus fruit emerge. The citrus becomes grapefruit with a mild bitterness – far from disturbing. Midpalate, at last and as it should be, it becomes quite salty.

Long, sweet finish with earthy notes and a hint of dark chocolate, but at the death I get lemon and sea salt. Grand.

This was a feast! Nice to see that, despite all the PR BS and marketingstunts, the contents of the bottle is absolutely great. This is simply a fantastic, albeit modern (is there any other?), gold & green Ardbeg.

Wow, this is a generous rating for you, Mark. Whiskybase rated it at 85. I tend to agree with MaltActivist. Just okay for me, rather than a "feast." Then again, maybe not all bottlings of Auriverdes were exactly the same? You never know. Some very fancy Ardbegs were sent over to the Festival for Independent Bottlers in Belgium last May.

Here is my review: thewhiskykirk.com/2014/06/…

Thanks for your review, Mark. Very interesting! Hope you are happy and well!

Great review, Mark. I still have to put together my own tasting notes, however I, too, was positively impressed by this expression, especially by the palate that I found to be wonderfully smooth and nicely smoky. My expectations were quite low after all the negative reviews, and I was positively surprised.


What can I say?

I love Ardbeg, I mean LOVE Ardbeg. It was my first Islay love and holds a special place in my heart due to that.

Don't get me wrong, I love all the Islay distilleries, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Bruichladdich, Kilchoman, Caol Ila, if it's got big smoke and peat, then I'm a happy man.

But like I said, Ardbeg holds a special spot in my heart.

So it's with great excitement that I look forward to Ardbeg Day every year. Every year on June 1st our whisky friends at Ardbeg make us happy campers by bottling a "special release"

Galileo which was released in 2012 was easily my favorite Ardbeg to date, and worth every single penny.

And then Ardbog came out, a whisky that I'll soon review, a year after it's release now that everyone and their mom have made up their minds regarding it.

And then just 26 days ago, June 1st, Ardbeg released Auriverdes, a special bottling celebrating the upcoming World Cup. The name in Portuguese means Golden (whisky) "Auri" in Green (bottle) "Verdes". Golden whisky in a green bottle.

It's aged in second fill American ex bourbon barrels, with heavy charring on the lids, designed to create a mocha flavor in the whisky.

In theory this release is around 6600 bottles from what I can find online, it was distilled in 2002, which puts it around 11 or 12 years old.

And rounding it all out, it retails for around $200 AUS.

My wife and I recently flew out to Whisky Live in Sydney Australia and while over there I visited quite a few bottleshops who are run by friends and acquaintances. While I was visiting the guys at the World of Whisky, they offered me a dram of the Ardbeg Auriverdes.

Let me at it!

Well first off it's a pale golden color and it's in a green bottle so it fulfills the name requirements right there.

The nose has heaps of vanilla, mocha, chocolate, citrus oranges, a little bit of bbq meat, light peat and smoke.

Seriously is this Ardbeg? It is so very light. Not bad, but not what I expected!

Let's give it a taste and see what happens.

Vanilla again, lots of vanilla, mocha, mangoes and peaches, black pepper and light peat again.

A very soft, but lingering finish with more vanilla and then at the very end the vanilla fades leaving smoke behind.

Well how do I say this?

What the hell....seriously what the hell?!

People are running around losing their heads over this whisky and this, THIS is what they're going nuts for. A whisky that tops out at 12 years max, mild and inoffensive, that runs $200 or so a bottle?!

That's it, I've lost the plot. For the last two years all I hear from the whisky world is people bitching about no age statement whiskies, how they're going to be overpriced and under deliver and yet these same people are running around losing their heads over the newest and greatest Glenmorangie and Ardbeg release?!

I love Ardbeg, I cant stress that enough, and I enjoy Glenmorangie, but I've got to be honest, I'm tired of seeing whiskies that I know, KNOW, are 10 and 12 years old sell for $180 and $200 a bottle. Just because they've got a cool story behind it. I mean people complained about the Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix running at $100 a bottle here in Australia, but these same people have no problem throwing down $200 on a Ardbeg or Glenmorangie?!

Let's bring things back into perspective folks, shall we? No age statement whiskies can ROCK, the forementioned Snow Phoenix, Aberlour Abunadh, Ardbeg Corryvrackin, Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX etc, and I'm happy to throw down some serious cash on them as they can be absolutely brilliant, but what was different from all of those whiskies and this latest release from Ardbeg?

The price point! Most of those whiskies started out selling for $100 or thereabouts, and yes prices did rise over the following years. But they didnt start out selling for $200 a bottle.

Pardon me this rant, it's my birthday and I reckon I can get away with one naughty thing today, and I do expect to be shot and executed for taking this stance, but I for one am not on a boycott of them, but all of these newest Glenmorangies and Ardbegs that are overpriced and selling out in seconds as someone who was paid to gave another one of their whiskies World Best Whisky, well from here on out, I don't think I'll be buying any bottles of these whiskies without sampling them first.

If they're worth it, I'll happily pay every penny, however if it's overpriced mediocre whisky, I'll at least saved myself $200.

Rant off.

@SquidgyAsh, I don't think that you are in the minority, nor that you will take much flack, for protesting the pricing and quality of recent NAS releases.

Since you are in the alcoholic beverages industry, I suppose that you almost have to bite the bullet and pay whatever it costs to keep up with developing tasting knowledge of the recent whisky releases. If I lived in Australia I would be a very value-conscious whisky consumer. I also wouldn't have 300 bottles of whisky in my house right now, as I do. Those are some steep prices you have to pay over there.

@SquidgyAsh. Much appreciated mate, thanks for saving me some serious money. I know you are a big Ardbeg lover and if you tried this one twice and are still lukewarm on it, that's good enough for me. I think I will just stick to the Ten, Uigeadail and Corry, can't go wrong there. Cheers.


This was the final dram for our Ardbeg Day 2014 celebration. Crazy pairing with what my cousin, the chef, called a Duck Egg Chocolate Eclipse (soft boiled duck egg coated in chocolate plated in caramel and cream nest-insanity).

Color: medium gold

Nose: Immediately interesting to me as a softer take on Ardbeg. Sweet and tart at once, chocolate orange, and smoked almonds right out front. With a little time grilled green peppers and some bacon. Something earthy that might be what I have seen described as coffee. The peat is not the first thing to hit but that sweet incense definitely rises with some time.

Palate: soft and a little thin in terms of body, almost effervescent, salt, vanilla, peat and citrus there. The complexity of the nose was not quite delivered here.

Finish: long with pepper and peat throughout, but still soft throughout.

Overall: this one got my attention for the change up in approach. It is a gentler dram. I would place it somewhere between Blasda and the standard 10 year old in terms of "impact." Not quite the gentle thunder of the Airigh Nam Beist, but it seemed to be reaching in that direction-which probably gets some extra love from me. Value is a good question-got this for $80 US which works for those of us with unreasonable tendencies toward this distillery. I think I will get a few stashed as I like to try and have a nice "spread" of Ardbegs for our family Ardbeg tastings. That said, I do long for a special release with the jaw dropping qualities of the "Oogie" or the "Beast."

Food note: The sweet dessert with the lighter whisky worked okay.


I tried a few glasses of the new Auriverdes at Ardbeg Day yesterday in Oregon City. A dram was only $10 at the Highland Stillhouse for one day only, a real bargain! Here are my tasting notes:

Color: A shade darker than standard Ardbeg 10 year (which is pale straw).

Nose: Caramel nougat, vanilla bean, toasted malt, smoked ham, clotted cream, wet moss.

Palate: More caramel, light peat, pine needles (mild), some phenols (mild), a little more vanilla.

Finish: Medium in length; marshmellow, ash, peat, hardwood smoke, caramel.

Comments: This is fairly mild for an Ardbeg. If given this blind folded without having tasted it prior to the taste test, I would not have identified it as Ardbeg. It does not have the typical full bodied flavor of an Ardbeg and the complexity doesn't compare to the cask strength Uigeadail. This said, it's a very enjoyable dram. I gladly drank a few glasses yesterday at Ardbeg Day and would have had a third if not for the temptation to order an Alligator (one of my all-time favorites).

Thanks for the review. I have some waiting for to pick up . . . but it might be a while until I can get it. Sadly, this sounds like another below average release from Ardbeg. Other reviews I have read comment on how close this seems to the standard TEN. I enjoyed that your video compares the two side-by-side. Cheers

See video of my side-to-side taste test between Auriverdes, Ardbeg Ten and Uigeadail! thewhiskykirk.com/2014/06/…


It's that time of the year again, folks! When emotions trump logic. When clear thinking is clouded. When, like crack addicts, we go insane for that one hit we have been waiting for since June 1 of last year.

I am, of course, talking about Ardbeg's yearly Festival Release. This years' must-have bottling is called the AuriVerdes.

'Auri' means gold and 'Verdes' means green. Which is basically to say there is gold liquid inside this green bottle. In Portugese. Not terribly creative I admit. It's also the name of the Brazilian football team and, with the World Cup just around the corner, this is quite possibly a lawsuit in the making.

Let's hope FIFA doesn't bankrupt Ardbeg. How would we spend our hard earned cash on mediocre whiskies, otherwise?

This one has seen quite a different maturation process compared to other Ardbegs. The casks are American white oak ex-Bourbon barrels with normal Bourbon specification charring. Once in Scotland the heads were replaced with new American oak heads treated to a particular (and secret) toasting regime.

These re-worked barrels were then filled with spirit and ultimately blended together with Ardbeg from 1st and 2nd fill Bourbon barrels.

The idea was that the different wood elements would each lend their unique flavor profiles and create an entirely new flavor profile.

Did they succeed in a creating a unique flavored Ardbeg? Yes. Is it fantastic? Nope.

Nose: Very herbacious and heathery. Looking at the pale olive liquid in the glass one need not be surprised. The peat is subdued amid the vanilla butterscotch and stewed fruit. Some garam masala finds it's way towards the end as well. The aromas are there but just not confident enough to create a lasting impression.

Palate: Quite thin and weak in my opinion. Very unlike an Ardbeg should be. Maybe they're going for a newer audience that likes their whiskies unchallenging. Spicy spearmint with the same ashy greens as the nose. Maybe a chocolate pear in there too.

Finish: Medium with a touch of spice.

Had it at a tasting recently and a majority of Ardbeg fans in the room turned their noses up. As an avid anti-marketing whisky fan it pains me to see my favorite distillery riding on the back of it's cult status and cool gimmicks instead of really focusing their blood and guts into making their whiskies the best in the world.

Which they were. And can still be.

Till then I will continue to be a fanboy and buy what ever it is they produce. But I suspect even die hard fans have their patience.

Thanks, @MaltActivist for your review.

Well, what do you do if you are a whiskymaker and suffering the problem of unprecedented demand for your product? What do you do when you have seriously dwindling supply of product which takes 10-20 years to age? This is happening to the old guard distillers all over the world right now.

Getting more flavour out of relatively young whiskies is a task which most of the distilleries have been at for some time now. Playing with new vs. used oak, the use of smaller barrels, residue from exotic spirits in the woods used, and the use of charring to get more out of the wood, have been the main tools used in this quest. For my taste the exotic measures really only work well once in awhile. More often than not they still taste mostly like shortcuts have been employed, which they have.

I will be interested in sampling the Auriverdes. It remains to be seen what happens when it gets some air time also.

@Victor normally I would agree with you and sympathize with the old guard distillers over lack of supply. However, this is the same distillery that gave us a 6 yr old Very Young and an 8 year old sublime Still Young. So coaxing flavors out of young whiskies is something they know quite well.

Kilkerran with their WIP series have some real stunners. Kilchoman of late have been producing wonderful flavors.

Besides this expression has a lot of non-experimental Ardbeg in it as well. So maybe the fault lies in the blending?

I will re-visit this after a while and report back. Maybe it's turned for the better.


Ardbeg - what can I say. Personally I'm tiring of the hype a little bit. Committee this and super special committee that and silly prices. But anyway....

This was sampled along with a number of much older Ardbeg's at our recent tasting session.

Is it good? Yes. Personally I prefer it over the Uigeadail.

Nose: Well it's all tars and engine oils, followed with a little tart apple skin maybe a hint of smoked lemon (do they do this), some kind of unusual resin vanilla, coal or charcoal and antiseptic (but not the TCP Lagavulin kind). Interesting.

Palate: One of our members described it (quite humorously) as the following. Imagine lighting a bonfire on a stony gravel beach in West Cork (Ireland). Leave it burn for a bit using both coal and wood. Lob in a few Cuban cigars. Then put out the bonfire using a combination of lemon juice, apple juice, old engine oil, salt and antiseptic. Leave it cool down. Scope up the ashesremains, mix with water and drink!

Finish: Long, dry, ashy and some kind of smoked nuts. Not sure which kind though....

Final verdict. Yes it good. I'm sure it will fly off the shelves. It's a NAS and that is apparent - if you look hard enough. This would probably be stunning as an 18 year old.

Are you a woman? It's nice to hear from a woman on this site. Your review is quite good. Thank you. It's interesting how you say you prefer this one over the Uigie. For me, since the Uigie is a sweet sherry cask creation it is different, but your review seems to indicate there are similarities. . . . that is intriguing.

Generally speaking, women have keener noses and sharper taste buds (the nose is infinitely more complex as a sensory organ than the mouth). The whisky connosr community needs more women, if you ask me.

On another subject, women are also more natural shooters with pistols since their nervous systems do not shake as much as men's and they blink less often. Little known facts.

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