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This is a recent bottle that I bought and opened on March 11th. I have tasted it on a number of occasions, but I have only made proper notes 3 times now (one occasion against 3 other batches of Corry, one time against Laphroaig 10yo CS 005 and Lagavulin 12yo CS 2010, and once against other random peated whiskies). I was waiting to do a fourth tasting . . . but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. So with hesitation here is my opinion:
Nose: Very sweet . . . super sweet. Then comes the sour lemon . . . dang. This has the least going on up high and so seems the least intense of four different Corry batches. The sour tone is all up in your face. It is hard to get around it to find the peat. All I am getting is sweet and sour. Lets give it time . . . only marginally better, but I am getting a little bit of dark chocolate in the far background. I don’t love this nose. This is very uninspiring compared to Uigeadail, Laphroaig CS and Lagavulin CS. And for all its power it has a very weak and subdued nose. I like it for the peat, which at best is only 1/3 of the flavor. It is enjoyable in an “Ardbeg” way, but there is nothing to intrigue me here. That said, I have to keep in mind that I am directly comparing this to other really great cask strength (or close) peat monsters.
Water totally subdues the nose . . . it turns down to a whisper.
Taste: Sweet . . . way too sweet . . . like saccharin sweet. Almost bourbon-ish. There is a ton of caramel, sweet, and now salt. TONS of salt, but only a little peat to mix with the oak flavors.
Finish: Smallest wave of the four Corry batches. But the salt lick is super long with tons of salt and peat . . . and salt. Now there is that deep Ardbeg black peat, wood, and strong liquorish note that I love. This was a big finish of power, powder, sawdust, peat, and smoke . . . but lacking in complexity. Still, that depth and overwhelming dark peat tone almost makes it all worth it.
Complexity, Balance: This might be the most unbalanced Corry I have ever tried. I don’t get it. It is all about sweet tones and then sour tones. It totally masks the peat, earth, and ash that you typically find in Ardbeg.
Aesthetic experience: Easily the darkest of the four Corry batches in color tonight. Love this bottle. Not much to say about a great name, story, ABV, and nick name. If you have read this far (and any of my other reviews) you need to know that I really do give points based on the bottle and packaging. I think it subconsciously influences our enjoyment of a whisky. So I am trying to proactively take this into account. I enjoy most everything about this bottle. If you only care about the liquid inside . . . then this section of points would be far lower.
Conclusion: I already said this in the “Complexity” category: unbalanced, strong on the sweet and sour, weak on complexity and peat. The best part about this batch is the finish. That said, this is the worst batch of Corryvreckan I have come across. Avoid! I am rating this an 82 because of the finish and the Aesthetic Experience of drinking a 57.1% Ardbeg. However, I could easily see this being rated in the 70’s by someone who doesn’t have a huge soft spot for high-powered peat monsters.