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Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Tall tales

8 993

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

7th Apr 2019

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    24
  • Overall
    93

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

It's tough to find reliable information on what types of Casks are used to mature Corryvreckan, but the Ardbeg website informs the reader that ex-bourbon casks and new French oak casks are used. There are also rumours of ex-burgundy wine casks from France being used too (according to The Whisky Exchange blog).

Tasting Notes

  • Nose (undiluted): big, earthy Ardbeg peat and smoke, a fruity aroma of dark cherries, a touch of vanilla, and some oak
  • Palate (undiluted): very rich and oily, lots of cherries, thick smoke, a touch of brown sugar, oranges
  • Finish: long and lingering, cinnamon, cloves, cigar smoke, toasted oak, dark chocolate, dark cherries, and some black pepper

Tall tales about raging whirlpools are unnecessary here. This is an excellent whisky. It’s big, it’s bold, and incredibly balanced. No element dominates, and they’re all very clear. I’d heard great things about Corryvreckan, yet this still exceeded my expectations. I have not added water to this whisky once. Maybe that’s negligence on my part, but I’ve rarely found a whisky that I liked better with water added.

It's a shame the pricing in Ontario is so crazy, because I'd have this on my shelf more often than not. Corryvreckan is more reasonably priced in Alberta and in pretty much any other jurisdiction in the world, so I have no qualms recommending it.

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9 comments

@Nock
Nock commented

Thanks for the review. I am glad you have a good bottle! Do you happen to have the laser code on the back of the bottle (near the bottom)? That way the obsessed like me can keep track of which batch you are tasting from. I have experienced some extreme swings in quality from the Corry. Some batches are fantastic while others can be very disjointed and out of sorts. I like to buy only good batches if I can.

4 months ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nock The L63978 is the Batch, isn’t it? The bottling date is 2017...I can look for more numbers when I get home...

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock commented

Actually no. What I am looking for is the bit just after that. Here is a bottle code from a recent good batch I have enjoyed: L67890 03/04/2017 17003407 17:39

The key is the bit in the middle "03/04/2017" That tells you the 3rd day of the 4th in 2017 it was bottled.

I also really like: L68291 04/05/2017 17004611 08:03

This one was bottled one moth later (4th day of the 5th month). I wonder if they are from the same vatting of casks (batch) or if they are different batches. I know in the early 2000's it was very common for Ardbeg to mix a big vatting of many casks and then pour out bottles from that "batch" as orders came in. So you could have a bottle date on an Uigeadail that was a month different, but from the same "batch" or vatting of casks.

My guess (only a guess) is that Ardbeg is far busier these days with far more demand. I would doubt that they are leaving liquid in a vatting tank for a month. But who knows?

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Nock My open Corry is:

L70173 16/03/2018 18001955 09:35

I like it. but I have absolutely nothing to compare it to.

My bunkered bottle is:

L11 243 12.07 6ML 11102055

What do you suppose that means?

4 months ago 0

@Nock
Nock commented

@Nozinan That bunkered bottle is from the old system of bottle codes. That was the L=year. So that "L11" = 2011 and 243 = the 243rd day of 2011. OR August 31st, 2011.

I had a bottle from L11 279 (or the 279th day of 2011 OR October 6th 2011) that was really good. There is a possibility that those are both bottled from the same vatting, but I am not sure. If it is then it should be a very good bottle that I rated consistently in the low 90's (91-95). I think my average score for my bottle was a 93.3.

4 months ago 4Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nock As promised, here’s what the bottle says: L63978 16/11/2015 15010908 10:29

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

I thought it was 2017, but it appears I was wrong. Oops...It’s definitely 2015.

4 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound I got you a 2015? Surprising. I don't think that store was even there in 2015...

4 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock commented

@OdysseusUnbound excellent work!! Dang, there is none of that on any of the shelves here in Virginia. Oh well. I am glad you have a batch you enjoy. Thanks for find all the number and sharing. My hope is to spread the gospel of Ardbeg: "batches matter a great deal."

And @Nozinan, that can often be the work of the distributor. I have found bottles show up in stores that are two years behind. And they are fresh on the store shelves. The only answer that makes sense is that some distributor holds on to some stock in a warehouse some where before they find a buyer.

4 months ago 3Who liked this?

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