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Ardbeg Blasda was released in 2008 and is different from other Ardbeg expressions for a number of reasons. Firstly, at 8ppm it is lesser-peated; secondly, it is chill-filtered whereas other expressions are not; and thirdly, the ABV of 40% is the lowest of all Ardbeg releases. In Gaelic, “Blasda” means “sweet and delicious”.
The nose starts with distinct milk and porridge flavours, then turns fruity with notes of lemons, vanilla, apples and a hint of pineapple. Smoke is quite prominent, much more than I would have expected given the low ppm level.
The palate is light-bodied, clean and just a tad spicy. There is not much smoke there now, but the fruity flavours are back – this time lemons, peaches, vanilla – followed by a hint of nuts.
The finish is of medium length, spicy and pleasantly warming. The lemon flavours make another appearance, together with smoke and pepper and followed by notes of coffee.
I was looking forward to the Blasda experience and indeed this was interesting to taste, however in the end it did not really work for me. The nose was pleasant but in my opinion the palate is too light and tasted almost a bit diluted. Clearly, Ardbeg Blasda is not my first choice for lightly-peated single malts.