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Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Average score from 52 reviews and 163 ratings 91

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Product details

  • Brand: Ardbeg
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 57.1%

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@Victor
Ardbeg Corryvreckan

The reviewed bottle has been open for 9 months and is 90% full

Nose: sharp bitter peat, a little sour peat, moderate smoke, lemon, strong brine. This 9 month open bottle has lost some oomph but is still strong. This is a very good nose, especially after 10 minutes of air in the glass. Water added raises the pitch, brings out sweetness, and merges the flavours. With water this is OK, but much of the beautiful complexity is lost. Score: 22/25

Taste: heavy sourness and lemon in the mouth, which overpower and overshadow the peat, smoke, brine, and malt. This is not very good now, and is even worse--more sour--than it was when the bottle was first opened. Water added merges the flavours to a lemon-tinged black licorice. With water this is very different but still not good. Score: 17/25

Finish: it doesn't get any better by waiting, until the taste is all gone. With water added the licorice finish is shortened and then it just fizzles out. Score: 17/25

Total Sequential Score: 73 points

Strength: very strong flavours throughout. Score: 23.5/25

Quality: good to very good quality of all of the flavours. Score: 21.5/25

Variety: the overwhelming sourness narrows the range of the flavours available to be tasted. Score: 20/25

Harmony: very good in the nose; not good in the mouth. Score: 16/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 81 points

Comment: my first reviewed bottle of Corryvreckan from Batch L11 012 was @Nock's least favourite known batch of Corryvreckan. This second reviewed bottle of mine, L13 240, is @Nock's second least favourite known batch of Corryvreckan. My bottle of L11 012 got a LOT better after much air exposure (8 months), whereas this bottle of L13 240 has gotten a lot worse with air exposure

I am actually quite surprised at how bad this bottle tastes to me now, because my memory from first opening this bottle was more of a whisky scoring at least 86 points. The bottom line is CAVEAT EMPTOR-- read reviews and pick your batches of heavily peated whisky carefully

This L13 240 Corryvreckan is one more example of a very good nose and a not-so-good palate. It would not surprise me if this one were also a case of "blending by the nose alone". Distillers and Blenders, NEWSFLASH: MANY whiskies do NOT taste he way they smell. You need to taste them ALL--in your MOUTH

77 point whisky is still very drinkable, but Ardbeg Corryvreckan can and should be much better than is Batch L13 240

@Victor, a slight correction. THIS (L13 240) is the worst Corry I have tried. In my “officially” review I gave it an 82. The L11 012 is second worst which I reviewed at 86 (I believe you gave it 90 or so by the end).

Yes, I was heart broken when you told me that this was the "back up" batch you had. It was horrible. Looking back on the few notes I took of this one (I only scored it three times). I scored it 83, 84, and 81 (in that order). My lowest score was always the balance/complexity. And I did note that the finish really turned awful after only 4 months. I believe I vatted it with 80% Grant's (the universal solvent). However, I think I saved a small sample for posterity.

Everything you say about it is correct from my experience. If you read my review the last line says, "I could easily see this rated in the 70's by someone who doesn't have a huge soft spot for high powered peat monsters." Now, I do know you enjoy the peat monster, but I think you are far more objective in such matters. So your score doesn’t surprise me in the least.

@Robert99. Funny thing, that batch of 10/11/2014 is probably my favorite Corry batch yet! I loved that "herbal" note you mentioned. It is interesting that you mention Springbank and Bruichladdich by way of comparison. I think you might have struck on something there. @Victor did try this batch on my last visit, but was not a huge fan. He also was put off by the "herbal" note if I remember correctly. He enjoyed L11 279 much more. I would say L11 279 is an excellent version of Corry (I have it around 93 to 94). But, I am so glad I have three more bottles of 10/11/2014. For me it scores 96 on all four tasting I have done with pen in hand.

@maltmate302 - that is why connosr is here - to help fellow whisky lovers avoid those bad batches. I just wish we (myself especially) were better at identifying those batches on the shelves now. Here in the US it seems to take a year for batches to show up from bottling.

FACT: my local liquor store still has bottles of this very batch, L13 240, on the shelf. With the way this batch tastes no wonder no one is buying a second bottle.

@Victor Well, unfortunately that is the proof that Corrys and Uigies are not all good. My batch, L601 27 10/11/2014 1401 had a herbal note half way between Springbank and Bruichladdich that was a bit to much for me at the beginning but that has now recessed. It is very good but not exceptional. So there is hope that we will get good Corrys in the future.

@Erlend

Today three of the best I ever tasted shal be tasted side by side. The Corryvreckan, the Ardbeg 10, and the Glenlivet Nadurra. I added a lot highland wellwater to the strong ones, and a little water to the Ardbeg 10. First nose at the Corryvreckan is a bit yeasty, The 10 a bit etanolish,The Nadurra fresh oak, and maybe some tiny menthol. More vanilla.Now more peat comes from the Corry, and also from the 10. The Ardbegs smells a lot better after a couple minutes in the glass. The Ten is more marshy than the corry, which has more oak than the 10. THe bad yeasty and etanolish starts from the ardbegs has dissapeared. Perfect scent now. The Nadurra on the tounge. Very round and soft. The 10 is thinner on the tounge, the Corry is soft too, with some oaktaste, some vanilla,some marshy scent. I might have missed on the 10, and added to much water. It was the last drops from thebottle, so it cannot be fixed. The Ardbeg 10 wins the noserace. I like that marshy peaty nose very good. I think the corry is the richest with most complexity. The difference between the 10 and the corry was a lot bigger than I pre-guessed. All three are very fine whiskys. The cost at vinmonopolet is 850 Nok for the Corry, 570 for the 10 anf 609 for the Nadurra. The ten is diluted, so it is less taste for the money, making its value in the middle of these three. The nadurra is definitively the best buy. I think they all are very good, and that I later will buy them all again. It is nice that they are different. The fresh oakvanilla Nadurra is very different from the marshy peat Ardbeg 10. The Corry is a bit more complex and mainstream than the ten, taking a small step in the Lagavullin 16 direction. Three fantastic drams that are among my absolute favourites.

About the expectations. I Expected the Corryvreckan to be a cask strenght Ardbeg 10, but it is not. It is different. The Corryvreckan slides in the direction of Lagavullin 16. I would really like to get a clean peat marshwhisky like Ardbeg 10 in cask strenght. Corryvreckan is more oaky and complex. It is much darker, and I suspect some cherrycasks, but an not tell it for sure. It is different. It is good that its different.I like to enjoy different drams. The Corryvreckan is more compact, has more body. The Corryvreckan is more expensive than the other two, but it is so rich that it defends its pricetag. I want to invite some friends for whiskytasting, and like to give them different qualitywhisky.My only problem now is that the Ardbeg 10 bottle is empty.

What I like most when comparing those three is that they all are very good, and also different. I think they can represent very different types of whisky. To choose between the Ardbeg 10 anf the Nadurra. Well, sometimes you want fish and sometimes meat, and everytime you want fine quality. It is different , and you like that its different.

@Robert99

At first the nose is quite surprising with is dichotomous personnality. It is very Ardbeg with its big charred smoke, peat and seasalt; but the big hay, white oak, wet grass by the sea (not seaweed) and tarred hemp rope (to use the expression so well putted by @Fiberfar) is clearly Longrow in my mind. With time the Ardbeg Vanilla is showing. With more air, I have more medecinal herbs, a bit of cardamon and some french oak woodspices in the back. After half an hour, something wonderfull happened, all the flavors kind of melt together finding a good balance. I then have some white and black pepper on a more smokey typical Ardbeg nose with a more prononce than usual sour note.

The smoke is huge on the palate! The more air it got the more ashy it becomes. I love ashy whisky! The hay and hemp are there but they are integrated, though they are more defined than the fruity and sweety background. All those flavors are travelling on a continuous thread of vanilla spiced with ginger. The flavors are really expanding from the front of your mouth to your throat and up to your nose.

Wow, the finish is long, intense and offers you new flavours! The peat is just explosing becoming meaty! A classical iodine joined the smoke with some medecinal menthol and this finish last for ever.

Conclusion, on the first sip, I would have rate this scotch at 84, subtracting 2 points for his lack of balance. In about half an hour of hair, it changes a lot! I would give to the last sip a 91. It could have been close to 94 but it becomes too integrated lacking some definition and reducing the complexity. I am expecting this bottle to settle like my last sip, giving the big role to the smoke and the ash. In that way, I understand why all the people are saying that it is more of a real Ardbeg than the Uigeadail for which I find sometime that the finsh covered the best part of the whisky. The best comment I can do is that I am now craving for another pour of it. So I think I will let you go and have another taste of it just to check a few points and to...

@Robert99, I also picked up a bottle of Corry on my last visit to @Victor. Here is my batch number: L50127 10/11/2014; 14011823 16:35

I am 99.9% certain that it is the same batch as yours. Check your bottle again to see if those numbers could fit. The date is the same (10/11/20114) and the time is one minute off (yours) 16:36 and (mine) 16:35. The rest of the new numbers are not as important in my opinion.

As to your batch of Uigeadail, I had that same batch and enjoyed it. That is the old batch code style (which they just changed). The only difference is the time your bottle was filled and the time the Luxembourg bottle was filled. My bottled said L13 058 13:13 6ML. The L13 is the year. The 058 is the day of the year. And the 13:13 is the time. Your bottle was earlier in the day.

6ML is the bottling line. Ardbeg use to have several bottling lines, but they are now down to only one the 6ML bottling line - which is the Caledonian line for Ardbeg and Glenmorangie.

I have been looking forward to tasting this batch. Thanks for the review!

@Robert99, I am very glad that you got a good bottle of Corryvreckan. Yes, you really do need to furnish us with the bottling code in order to identify the batch. They are far from "all the same" from batch to batch. If my first bottle of Corryvreckan had been as good or better than the other Ardbegs I was buying in 2010/2011 I would probably have stored up several bottles of Corryveckan favourites from that era. As it was, my first bottle was something I did not like at all for MANY months. Eventually it lost most of the sour lemon citrus which was ALL you could taste of it for about a year, maybe longer. I grew to like even that bottle over time, when the other typical Ardbeg flavours eventually began to show themselves, 18 months later. Our resident Ardbeg aficionado, @Nock, considered that particular batch of Corryvreckan, L 11 012, to be the worst Corryvreckan he has tasted yet.

I am no shrinking violet about big flavours, including peat, smoke, brine, etc. Ardbeg Supernova and Bruichladdich Octomore are my ideas of great whisky. But when 100% of your early experience of a particular whisky is crappy, it is very hard to trust the name on the label. For years I read wistfully about how much many people were loving their Corryveckan. I thought to myself, "I wonder how much they would enjoy Corry if their experience were only of this L 11 012." Well, @Nock tells me that I also have stored up his second lowest rated Corryvreckan. Not great. It is more than a bit of a bummer when you get the bum bottle of a great product. (@Nock, I am still mortified about that bad bottle of George Dickel # 12 I insisted that you buy.)

So, Robert, enjoy your decent bottle of Corryvreckan!

M

Nose - smoke, tar and ash, with water opens up nicely. Palate is very smooth as for strenght, but also very powerfull. After adding some (very little) water, becomes extremely pleasant. Peaty, salty, very rich. Finish is typical for Ardbeg, impressive and very long. Great balance, maybe best recent Ardbeg.

I agree. This is my favorite of the standard lineup, though the other two are no slouches.

@Jules

Nose is full of peat - notes of tar (which I always get from Ardbegs, though it is less pronounced here than the 10yo for example), grapefruit & seaweed

Salt & sour attack of fruitiness on the palate, some mild sweetness that becomes more savory and a buttery note in the background. Not particularly complex i.m.o

Finish is relatively long - smoky with some citrus, peat & malt. Dynamic, assertive and interesting.

Have to say that this one is all about the finish which is indeed exellent. I find the nose too young & the taste is a bit in your face. Some love it, I merely 'like' it.

It's 'fun' in the way your loudest buddy is, but it's nay subtle...

My bottle got better at the half way mark.

It was a 3cl sample... But I did find it was better the 2nd time, after being open for a week (I had it in two goes)

@PeatyZealot

This is the one of the 3 not overly marketed offerings from Ardbeg that are the standard range for a few years now. 9 year old Bourbon and French Burgundy oak aged heavily peated malt, married together and bottled at a very high (cask?) strength. Got it online for €55,- I must say I really like the packaging on this. A sturdy carton box with shiny gold Celtic patterns, bevelled printing, and even a little joke on the side.

Appearance: Nice copper colour and thick slow legs.

Nose: without water its just a bit too heavy so I put in 2 teaspoons of water in a good +-30ml serve. Tarry smoke, bbq trout, charred fresh oak, medicinal herbal oil, forest mushrooms, pine resin, seaweed, furniture polish, new leather and some dried fruit like apricot and raisins. Its a very big beefy nose with even some flowery smells after a good 5 minutes.

Palate: Comes in sophisticated, very quickly and assertive but not overly agressive. Without water its very heavy on the alcohol but not undrinkable at all and small sips are manageable. With water the experience gets a bit softer but certainly more interesting. I like that it really coats your mouth. What I get is: Big fresh charred oak, tar, freshly baked bread, dark earth, JD full flavor smoky BBQ sauce, Jerk pork, cloves, baked Lobster, chalk, seasalt, seaweed, deep sea plankton (in lack of a better term, very organic fishy notes) also after a few minutes I get some of the lighter floral/veggie notes and it becomes a little creamier. Brambles!

Finish: Enormous and long, bittersweet and beefy with lots of aromatic smoke, Black pepper, tar, bitterdry oak, dark roast coffee, tree bark, raw organic oil and yes the Islay iodine:)

Wow, this is a very lively, fresh, complex and brutally powerful whisky. Quite alike the Oogie, typically Ardbeg but drier and more complex pronounced oak, but way less fruit. It really couldn't be from anywhere else but Islay, it's unmistakable. You'd think it is older than 9 years as well, the French oak must me of good quality and/or re-charred. If this whisky was a classical music piece, it would be Stravinsky-Rite of Spring or something from Shostakovich. Dark, emotional, a bit chaotic but well performed and sophisticated. Only critical note (for some) that I have is that I couldn't drink this everyday, so intense that it is.

An Islay fans must buy for the special moments.

This is one of the best peaty bruisers I've found so far. I hope to contrive my bottle opening & sample saving to one day line up Corryvreckan, PC7, Turf Mor, Lagavulin 12, and Laphroaig 10 CS for a thunderous battle of the big boys.

Thanks for the review and the bottle code! I will keep an eye out for it. More and more the Corry is growing into my favorite bottling by Ardbeg (sorry Uigeadail).

@PeatyZealot

This is the one of the 3 not overly marketed offerings from Ardbeg that are the standard range for a few years now. 9 year old Bourbon and French Burgundy oak aged heavily peated malt, married together and bottled at a very high (cask?) strength. Got it online for €55,- and I must say I really like the packaging on this. A sturdy carton box with shiny gold Celtic patterns, bevelled printing, and even a little joke on the side (No swimming!)

Nose: without water its just a bit too heavy so I put in 2 teaspoons of water in a good +-30ml serve. Tarry smoke, bbq trout, charred fresh oak, medicinal herbal oil, forest mushrooms, pine resin, seaweed, furniture polish, new leather and some dried fruit like apricot and raisins. Its a very big beefy nose with even some flowery smells after a good 5 minutes.

Palate: Comes in sophisticated, very quickly and assertive but not overly agressive. Without water its very heavy on the alcohol but not undrinkable at all and small sips are manageable. With water the experience gets a bit softer but certainly more interesting. I like that it really coats your mouth. What I get is: Big fresh charred oak, tar, freshly baked bread, dark earth, JD full flavor smoky BBQ sauce, Jerk pork, cloves, baked Lobster, chalk, seasalt, seaweed, deep sea plankton (in lack of a better term, very organic fishy notes) also after a few minutes I get some of the lighter floral/veggie notes and it becomes a little creamier.

Finish: Enormous and long, bittersweet and beefy wit lots of smoke, Black pepper, tar, dry and bitter oak, dark roast coffee, tree bark, raw medicinal oil and yes the iodine:).

Wow, this is a very lively, fresh, complex and brutally powerful whisky. Quite alike the Oogie, typically Ardbeg but drier and more complex pronounced oak, but way less fruit. It really couldn't be from anywhere else but Islay, it's unmistakable. If this whisky was a classical music piece, it would be Stravinsky-Rite of Spring or something from Shostakovich. Dark, emotional, a bit chaotic but well performed and sophisticated. Only critical note (for some) that I have is that I couldn't drink this everyday, so intense that it is. An Islay fans must buy.

@Fiberfar

I've been putting off writing whisky reviews on here for a long time. I think the two main reasons for that is being 1) I didn't have enough faith in my own ability to do it properly, and 2) reviewing beer is many times easier than whisky.

My bottle of Ardbeg Corryvreckan (L10 168) spent a long time as the big and scary, yet unopened peat monster in my shelf. It's also been open for what is probably an equally long time (close to two years, perhaps?), yet I've only really gotten around to pick Corryvreckan over any other whisky in the last six months.

I have noticed that the powerful peat smoke has diminished somewhat since I opened it the first time, but unlike other reviewers, I've not noticed much lemon in it, not then or now (blame it on inexperience, hehe!).

On to the notes themselves:

Nose: Powerful and intense peat, limestone, some faint citrus, tarred (tar coated) hemp rope, sea spray, salt, smoked bacon, sour woodsmoke, sweet licorice, honey and a hint of tobacco. Water improves the smell of limestone, tarred hemp and bacon. All in all, this gives nice associations to old wharfs.

Palate: Full bodied. Sweet smoke, honey, bitter cocoa and dark chocolate, peat. Water brings forth the peat and limestone, and the whisky get a earthly expression.

Finish: Long finish, again with the sweet smoke, then brine and dark chocolate.

Corryvreckan may very well be what opened up Islay for me. I now regret not reviewing (this) whiskey(s) earlier.

Thank you so much for your kind comment, @Robert99! I just read your review of the Corryvreckan, it is very well written.

Glad I could inspire you with the tarred hemp rope part. I spent my childhood summers on an island off of where I live, so the moment I opened the Corryvreckan, I thought of things I've seen and smelled out there. Childhood associations and a healthy dose of nostalgia is good to have when writing notes, I think.

I'll make sure to read the rest of your reviews as well.

@Fiberfar I really like your tarred hemp rope. I think you are right on with the hemp. I want to reassure you, you are not the only one for which the citrus is not that big. In general, your experience is very similar to mine. Keep the good job and be assured I will read you.

@Nemesis101

Introduced a few years ago as a replacement for the legendary Airigh Nam Beist. It's got big shoes to fill so let's see how it does.

Tasted with water and allowed to open up for a few minutes.

Nose: Do I need to say peat-smoke? A little bit more earthy than Laphroaig's style however, less of the TCP/Iodine notes although they are still there. A lot of salty sea-spray. A touch of mint, slightly zesty - lemony/grapefruit. Very subtle sweetness - just a hint of white chocolate.

On the palate I get minty-sweetness with loads of smoke but with a strong prickly bite. So adding a little more water..... And that has softened it up more, allowing the earthy peatiness to dominate but with almost herb-like backing flavours. Citrus returns, the mint fades. Hints of chocolate remain. A curious combination.

It then leads to a wonderfully dry briney finish that lasts. In fact I'd say the finish is the best part of this whisky but I am a fan of dry lingering finishes, (hence my love of Clynelish).

It's one of the more subtle Ardbegs if there is such a thing. Not as good as Nam Beist, (but I do think that was a one-off never to be repeated malt). It definitely works best with water and time allowing it to open up. The bottle itself has been open a few months too which might aid it.

In price/value ratio probably not quite as good as Uigeadail but better than the 10, (which although an excellent whisky, I think is very overpriced nowadays).

Actually this is my favorite of the standard three Ardbegs. I generally keep an open bottle around, but I'm currently enjoying various bourbons in this heat (101 F today, about 36 C). Peated and sherried whiskies don't work as well at these temperatures, although Clynelish, Craggamore and Glenmorangie do work. I'll definitely be picking up bottles of Corryvrecken again in a few months.

@Nock

I just realized that for some reason or another I have not posted a review of this batch. When I first met @Victor we tried his bottle of this batch. I thought it was a decent or average batch, and he thought it was the best his bottle had ever tasted after being open for 2 years plus! Some time later I realized that I actually had a bottle of this batch in reserve . . . so I opened it to see what my experience would be. After several tastings here is what I have found with my bottle:

Nose: More astringent then the L09. This is lemon, iodine, and astringency all punching you in the face. There is something dusty, peaty (smoky?), and earthy lingering in the background . . . but I am not sure exactly what it is given all the intense lemon and iodine. This is less about moss and way more about paint thinner. There is citrus (lemon peel-ish), some diesel, asphalt, and other mechanical equipment notes. There is an underbelly of peat but this is a thin and sad comparison to the gorgeous L9. With a little time I get down to earth and dirt to match the peat. Also I am getting some sweet notes . . . almost too-sweet ice cream of the vanilla variety. Yes, time is really needed to balance out this nose.

Taste: Same sweetness (perhaps the highest sweet tones of the night) as the other Corry batches I have. This really tastes like you are drinking Splenda and water with a hint of peat moss and a touch of smoke. Not impressive.

Finish: Huge explosion of power, sea salt, iodine, and a little peat. The pepper is outstanding: tons of black peppercorn, sea salt, and cayenne. Tons of fire power and spice. That said, there is none of that depth and earthiness I get from the other two batches of Corry tonight. I take that back – there is a hint of that “liquorish” note, but only at the very end.

Complexity, Balance: Not the most balanced or complex of the Corry batches. I dislike the extreme sweet and strong lemon. I find the balance off. With time the nose found itself . . . but then it would get lost again.

Aesthetic experience: I really love this bottle. Everything about it is wonderful, name, ABV, bottle color, nickname . . . except for the label getting sucked into the whirlpool, which seems tacky to me. All three expressions are spot on for color. The L9 might be a hair darker (or it is just my imagination).

Conclusion: @Victor has said that this batch started off with tons of lemon up front, but that after for about two and a half years it finally balanced out. My finding absolutely confirms this. This bottle has only been open since December 4th of 2013 so I’ll see how it does after a year. This batch isn’t as bad as the L13 240 . . . but it certainly isn’t anything to seek out. I know that in a few years that lemon should recede . . . but who wants to wait that long? I’m off looking for the next batch.

@Nock

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.

@Nock, when you get something like this batch L13 240 do you ever try vatting it with something else to take advantage of its better points while balancing it out with something that would improve its weaknesses?

I am sitting on an unopened bottle of L13 240 myself. If my reaction to this one is close to yours I will probably try a few combos to see whether I can make lemonade.

I've had the same luck with a few Corrys. They can be quite bitter and dissonant at times.

@hunggar

While I’m admittedly reluctant to become an Ardbeg fanboy, there’s no getting around the fact that their whisky is consistent, their adherence to quality is respectable, and their house style is something to behold. And if you are an Ardbeg fan, you need the Corryvrecken. They’ve done away with the lower abv of the 10 and the sherry of the Uigedail here, and we’re left with a big, intense beast of a whisky that personifies the house style, in my opinion. As Serge recently mentioned on whiskyfun; this is one of the Ardbeggiest Ardbegs out there.

Nose: Intense peat that is unmistakably Ardbeg. Maple, honey, citrus, oak, bacon, petrol, earth, metal, minerals, pine, and a potent brine. The flavours are crisp, clean, and industrial.

Palate: Quite rich and mouth-coating. I’m liking this mouthfeel. A powerful rush of classic Ardbeg flavours follows. Peat, petrol and smoke come on strong. The intensity of the peat is initially overpowering, but on closer inspection we start to notice some beautifully integrated citrus and honey. Lemons, oysters, seaweed, limestone, and smoked bacon.

Finish: Long and big. The flavours keep coming for ages. I’m enjoying the barley here. Aside from the ever-present peat, there’s a subtle farmy quality here with hay, barley, and wheat. There’s also a rich meatiness. Sorry; porkiness. Glazed ham and smoked bacon, to be specific. Ironically, what started off heavy and industrial soon trails off into something quite refreshing and natural. The tail end of the finish offers us flavours akin to mineral-rich spring water. Interesting.

This was a fun one to review. Not only because I just invented the word “porkiness,” but I also got to really explore this stuff; something I hadn’t done in ages. I have to admit; I thought I had this one pegged a long time ago. But having just explored it again, I’m inclined to toss an extra point or two its way. The Corryvrecken offers up loads of flavour and intensity with classic Ardbeg flavours. It translates beautifully from nose to palate to finish. But there’s still a fair bit of evolution going on; particularly during finish. While I don’t appreciate the price tag on this one, I can’t deny that it’s good. If your into Ardbeg, this them at their most honest. Very recommended.

Corryvrecken is definitely my favorite Ardbeg. They keep the quality consistently high batch to batch. It also shows the spirit really doesn't need any finishing with sherry or other casks. This is as wonderful neat as with a dash of water. I always have an open bottle around.

Nice review, hunggar. Corryvreckan is my favourite Ardbeg out of the current core range. I find it to be very earthy and briny but underpinned by lots of sea and lemon flavours at the same time. Excellent stuff!

@Belleville

Un nez iodé (iodine), vernis (varnish), avec de la ficelle (string) rappelant une grappa italienne, plus un soupçon de sirop d’érable léger (light maple sirup). Une fois en bouche, c’est l’avalanche de tourbe (peat), de terre (soil), de charbon (coal), de souffre (sulfur). Métal (metal), granit, poivre (pepper). Un final sur des écailles de lave (scales of lava), de fumées (smoke)et de cendres (ash).

A beautiful and well considered description. Thank you. I hadn't thought of grappa, but I am going to look for it now.

@MaltActivist

Yes, I'm one of those. The die-hard Ardbeggians that will fight tooth and nail for this whisky and climb mountains to defend it's honor! Now that we have that established let me tell you this particular expression fails to ignite extravagant fireworks.

It is good in it's own right but it is not magnificent. This one under review has the code L12 302 13:31 6ML etched on the bottled making it a late 2012 bottling.

The nose is what you would expect from this untamed spirit. Like standing on the coast in the midst of peaty hailstorm with your weathered fish nets hung across your shoulder. The smell of tar and road works emanates from beneath your leather galoshes. The reluctant tangerines and honey are there but understandably subdued in the face of this charr-y onslaught.

The peat is strong on the palate while the charr pounds everything into soot. The peppers, some vanilla and that familiar lemony citrus get the same overdone treatment. At 57.1% ABV this one is not for the faint hearted.

The sooty diesel finish stays for a while gruffly ordering you take another sip.

This is a good Corry. Just not the best one I've tasted.

Funny, I think we might have the same batch, as I also have an L12 302... I'm rather enamored with mine although the score will probably come out around the same once I'm brave enough to put up a full review.

Hi tabarakRazvi, many thanks for another great review! Corryvreckan is my favourite Ardbeg expression (better than Supernova, IMO) and I very much enjoyed reading your tasting notes. "The smell of tar and road works emanates from beneath your leather galoshes." - this is priceless! Thanks again for great tasting notes!

@abunadhMatada

Gonna be honest.. I'm a fan boy when it comes to Ardbeg.
Muscular, peaty, powerful and smoke bacon fat. Is it just me... I get a bit of laphroaig's signature smoke, which I love. I've always wondered what it would be like if you mix Ardbeg n Laphroaig, and I think I've found it, it's Corryvreckan. My top 3 dram.

Could you tell me what batch you reviewed?

F

I'm a big fan of the Islay Single Malts mostly because of their peatiness (if that is a word). Ardbeg Corryvreckan is the epitome of what Islay has to offer Single Malt enthusiasts. It's nose embraces you, heck it drags you in.. If you love the smell of a wood buring fireplace, then you'll love this dram.. It's full of flavor, very rich and smooth.. People who are used to the Glens, will probably be shocked..

Corryvreckan is too young, sharp, and woody for my taste. I don't like the Laphroaig Triple Wood much either, for the same reason. This said, I love the PC7 and the Longrow Gaja Wood (only seven years old). Laphroaig Cask Strength 003 was one of my favorite bottles of 2013. Bitter does not win the day for me. Corryvreckan is too bitter and biting with smoke that dries out rather than deepening into something rich, multifaceted, and memorable, IMHO.

And I love it. I agree with Fubar: In my record book, this and the Laphroaig CS stand atop the peaty heap.

When I want peat, I want PEAT, dammit. Partially peated stuff (Talisker, Springbank) and sherry-softened stuff (Uigeadail, Lagavulin 16) are fine, but they're sideshows to the main event.

@GBrough

Wow what a kick in the mouth. I picked this up and only now reviewed it out of the fact the thing has kicked me in the teeth. Nose:Smoked Fish( maybe mackerel), salted chocolate, orange, chili peppers, tarry coffee, peat, strong pepper, smoke, bacon. Palate: Pepper, smoked fish, salted chocolate, orange, chili peppers, smoke, bacon, coffee. The taste actually takes turn in my mouth in waves but it will make you feel like you are drowning. Finish: Smoked fish, salt, pepper, bacon.

So what a ride, quick and powerful with a nice fish and salt flavour to balance out the heat. All in all you cannot go wrong with any of the ardbeg line.

Lovely review. I agree that anything that kicks you in the mouth is worthy of a 90 or above. The batches I have tried of this are very consistent.

Care to share the batch number? It is odd number that begins with an L on the back of the bottle (small fine print that looks white)

Thanks, here is the batch number L3001003.

@Aulay

BAM! This is one bold Dram. Take no prisoners peaty, spicey, and thick. A wonderful nose reminiscent of a Peppercorn steak on the BBQ. I'd imagine an evening on the beach on Islay barbecueing steaks and fish over a roaring fire. There are bitter espresso/coffee nuances alongside pudding. This has to be one of the most difficult tastes to decipher. There is so much to this one. Add a wee bit of water and enjoy. Try it and you'll never get bored with it. Too expensive in Ontario @ $180. Buy in USA at approx. $80. Slainte Mhath!

@Nock

Bought and opened in Virginia 9/15/2013 (Yes, they have Corry bottles from 2011 just now on shelves here in Virginia) Tasting along side L9 231 and a bottle of Uigeadail L13 058 for reference on 9/16/2013,

Nose: Strong lemon at first. Much more “soaring” tones here then the L9 bottle. A slight sour note that the old L9 doesn’t have . . . did the sour note disappear? Or is this just pumped up lemon peel? There is a similar formaldehyde note . . . but there is a surprising lack of depth! Where the L9 had all this dark rich earth and peat bog this L11 is extremely strong lemon peel with a slight base of peat. Now I am getting those same spicy oak notes that I am associating with European oak. Very nice. Compared to the L9 this is a strong tenor. After some time (and air) I am really picking up on some nice diesel tones behind this huge lemon. Slowly I am drawing out the earth and peat bog from the L9. Wow I just got a hint of that bittersweet chocolate (just for a second). This is quite remarkable: basically, all the colors from the L9 are here; they are just arranged in a slightly different way. With time . . . I actually think I am picking up on more in this new bottle then in the old L9. I think I am getting some Indian spices here . . . crazy! It just really takes time. And after more time I am back to enjoying the L9 . . . it really is an “in the moment” type thing. Needless to say, both are highly enjoyable.

Taste: Lovely sweetness, then balanced out with lemon . . . now peat and sea salt.

Finish: Huge power . . . wave upon wave of undulating peat fire, smoke, peat embers, burning oak logs . . . a fresh Corry is a muscle bound power house! I love it. It does start much stronger then the L9. But does it last longer? Difficult to tell.

Balance, Complexity: Very complex. I am actually surprised. At first I thought it was a far less complex batch then the L9, but with time this 2011 bottle showed it carries the same DNA. The balance of the lemon was a bit off.

Aesthetic experience: This is a fantastic bottle. LOVE the near 100% British proof at 57.1%. This is probably my ideal ABV for Ardbeg (mainly because it doesn’t come at 70%!) My only dislike is the lack of symmetry on the label (where the whirlpool drags the ship, name, and boarder off the side. I just prefer the Uigeadail label more.

Conclusion – I really liked my first bottle of Corry from 2009 a great deal. I have tried a sample of @Victor’s bottle (different batch also from 2011) that was very similar to this batch. I think the DNA has been extremely consistent - more so then Ardbeg TEN or Uigeadail! The L09 was more complex, but these L11's are still highly enjoyable for me . . . and I think I like them more then a standard Uigeadail bottle. Something about the European Oak spice is more up my alley then sherry casks (which is American Oak).

I know many people morn the loss of the Airigh Nam Beist . . . but I would much rather be drinking this then the Beist. But that is just my taste - and this is a totally different "Beist"

Hi

Corry bottlings from 2013 are there any best buys or "stay away from" ? I'm going on a short cruise trip to Finland tomorrow, they have a Corry onboard, but not specified which L-number it is.

Best regards Filip

I quite agree that my bottles of Corry have been consistently very good to excellent, and I also prefer it to Uigeadail and most of the Ten bottlings. Well worth the money!

@Nock

This is from one of the first Corry batches (not the Committee release) to hit the USA. I opened 12/25/2009; re-bottled 11/2/2012 . . . yes . . . really that long. Most of the time the bottle was over ¾ full. I decanted it into a 200mL bottle. Tonight’s tasting (9/16/2013) is from this 200mL bottle that is now half full.

Nose: Lemon and sea salt greet the nose. For a moment it is all light and high tones. And now the plunge into the depths . . . formaldehyde gives way to leather and then deep rich earth with tons of moss. This is ancient stuff here! Peat bog mixed with wood . . . now more oak is emerging with tons of spices. I really can tell the impact that European oak brings: spice and no vanilla! Now, a turn to musty old books, diesel smoke in the background, and other Ardbeggy type notes. Not terrible sweet. After nosing the L11 I get a ton of dark bittersweet chocolate. This is most certainly a deep baritone note. Now a whiff of lovely pipe smoke (perhaps a cigar?) and then some pine needles. Every time I come back to this guy there is something different. I would summarize this as a nice balance of formaldehyde, earth, spice, lemon, peat bog, with hints of diesel and bittersweet coco.

Taste: Lovely peat, sea salt, burning logs, salt lick, and rosemary rub.

Finish: Big wave followed by that huge Ardbeg intake of breath . . . now the tidal wave of Ardbeg power! Awesome power and face decimation. Waves rolling in of peat fire, soaked moss covered logs, oaken furniture, leather, moss, peat . . . amazingly big and lovely.

Balance, Complexity: Far more balanced then the fresh L11, and it has an edge in complexity here as well. The balance of the lemon, spice wood, peat, sweat, and earth was amazing. Much better then the L11. I loved the interplay of the rich earth, the moss, the peat, and the diesel with the hints of sour, bittersweet coco and formaldehyde.

Aesthetic experience: This is a fantastic bottle. LOVE the near British 100 proof (technically 57.15) at 57.1%. This is probably my ideal ABV for Ardbeg (mainly because it doesn’t come at 70%!) My only dislike is the lack of symmetry on the label (where the whirlpool drags the ship, name, and boarder off the side. I just prefer the Uigeadail label more.

@Victor

The primary reviewed bottle, bottle code L11 012, meaning that it was bottled on January 12, 2011, has been open for a little less than 2 1/2 years, and is currently 60% full. Protective gas was used for the last 11 months. This review traces changes in this particlular bottle throughout its history, and, more importantly for me, the gradual change in my own whisky tastes which also occurred during this period. This review will be in non-sequential format: SQVH.

Ardbeg is probably my favourite Scottish distillery, and I have liked almost everything I have tasted under that name. Ardbeg Corryvreckan has been a whisky which has received near-unanimous praise from those who like strongly flavoured peaty/smoky Scottish malts. Until recently, though, for me, Ardbeg Corryvreckan was clearly my least favourite among the other Ardbegs of which I currently own bottles: Supernova 2010, Uigeadail, Airigh Nam Beist, Ten, Ardbog, and Galileo. It is not that I don't like the big, bold, vivid flavours--I would drink almost all whisky at 80% ABV if I could. No, it was because I didn't like the particular flavours of Corryvreckan, and even more so, for the first 8 months it was open, my particular bottle of Corryvreckan. All of my impressions of Corryvreckan changed about 2 months ago, when, while sampling some again with a visiting friend, @Nock, I liked samples from my own, or any other, bottle of Corryvreckan a great deal for the very first time. The whisky hadn't changed much in the last 18 months. I realised that some elements of my taste had changed, however.

Strength: the flavours of Corryvreckan are big, bold, strong, powerful, and vivid, on nose, palate, and finish. They were when I opened the bottle, they are now, and they have been from every sample I have had of Corryvreckan from my reviewed bottle and from every one of the several other bottles from which I have sampled. Score: 24/25 pts

Quality: when first opened, my bottle of Corryvreckan had overwhelming flavours of sour lemon citrus, so great, in fact, that they even greatly masked the intense gravelly petrol-like mush of earthy peaty/smokey flavours also present. This overbearing tart lemon citrus lasted about 8 months after the bottle was opened, and I didn't like it. After it finally faded away, my bottle of Corryvreckan tasted very close in flavour to that of other bottles of Corryveckan from which I have sampled. Corryvreckan is reported as a 5,000 bottle release. Within that 5,000 bottles are stamped different bottling dates. So, how to describe typical Corryvreckan flavours? First, I note that the nose flavours translate well to the palate. The barley flavours highlight lemon citrus, and a rather high-pitched set of flavours from the malt. The smoke is substantial, though it has over time largely dissipated in the nose. Even 30 months of the bottle open, smoke is still very prominently tastable on the palate. There is substantial noticeable brine, i.e. salt, iodine, seaweed, all of that Kildalton Islay Undertow. The peat flavours of Corryvreckan are quite complex and layered. Some of those flavours are vivid, and petrol like, expressing generally very low bass type notes. Baso Profundo, you could say. Some of the low peaty flavours are rather indistinct and sort of blend in to a mush of low gravelly, earthy, dirty flavours. Those gravelly bass flavours were never great favourites of mine, because much was indistinct mishmash, and I didn't especially like the petrol flavours, per se. Much of that class of flavour comes across to me as what I describe as anise/black licorice, and I didn't used to like a lot of anise/black licorice flavours in my whisky.

Well, something happened to me 2 or 3 months ago, and I now can more enjoy strong anise flavours in my whisky, whereas previously they just tasted out of balance to me and rather unpleasant. So, how I would thus describe the flavours: tart lemon citrus, high pitched malt, moderate brine, and a collection of bass petrol/earthy/smokey/anise-y flavours. In sum, I always liked the vividness of the flavours. Now I also like the nature of the individual flavours a lot better. Score: 23/25 pts (until recently I would have scored the quality of the flavours at 19/25 pts)

Variety: the number of flavours and contrast have always been more than adequate. Score: 23/25 pts

Harmony: I still don't think that these flavours have much natural harmony combined together. It is the individual quality and beautiful intensity of the flavours that make this work. Score: 21/25 pts

Concluding comment: accepting of, and enjoying of, a lot more lemon citrus flavours and a lot more anise flavours in my whiskies have been the two main changes I have seen in the multi-year evolution of my whisky tastes. I consider it to be a very good thing that those changes have been in the direction of learning to enjoy a wider variety of flavours, thus increasing the number of whiskies which I can wholeheartedly enjoy drinking. I advise the reader: you might very well find yourself liking some additional whisky flavours down the road, in additon to only those which you like today. Slainte!

@Nock, thank you very much for your kind words. My bottle did change quite a lot after the first eight months, but not very much thereafter. The most apparent change was that the high-pitched tart lemon citrus flavours which had been overpowering at first in time receded and became much more in balance with the bass elements of the whisky. I would say also, that to some extent the low pitched earthy-petrol-brine elements fused together and became a little less distinct among themselves than they had been early in the bottle's history. Those changes were relatively minor, I would say, overall.

I fell in love with this one while I was visiting in the UK last year. For me personally It ranks as the most enjoyable Ardbeg although I've only had the 10 yr, Uigeadail, and this one.

As always Victor a very enjoyable review, Cheers

@yori

I opened the bottle, poured some in my glass - n ot much nose to speak of and at first sip (uncut) very aggressive - bites like hell. When I added some water it improved, but not by much. Later in the evening (I had other whiskys around) I returned to it, to find that it has developed somewhat, and had a better experience. At the end of the day the bottle lost a few drams and went back to the cabinet.

A few days later is was "Corry alone" night - no comparison. Still bites, but gets much smoother with water - I needed much more than any single malt I ever tried. Still - not much in the nose. Pallate developed some subdued fruitiness and much less peat than I expect from Ardbeg. Having said that, the peat comes out full tilt in the finish, which is long and amazing - this is where it fully meets my expectations. Another weird observation is that when the glass is empty, the nose is much stronger (and lovely) than when it contains the whisky?!

Overall: For me Corry needs bot some air (much better the second evening - I have now a half bottle and I will leave it for a month before trying again) and plenty of water. It seems to have the capacity for greatness, but I don't like the bite - I would love all the ingredients left to mature together in a cask for another 4-5 years. As is, the best things are the incredible finish and the nose of an empty glass.

One more thing - I wish the lable said what's in it - I would love to know the ages ov various vintages and any pertinent information, just as I can read on a wine bottle it contains 78% Cabarnet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 3% Cabarnet Franc...

Good whisky with an unrealised potential for greatness IMHO!!!

Definitely needs water and breathing time this one. I had my bottle open for about a year and the last dram I had from it was far and away the best of the lot - it was actually very close to Airigh Nam Beist in style but I did not get anything like that from it for the first few months it was open. I actually found it tasted a bit flat and insipid at first but really opens up with time.

@Nemesis101

This bottle has been in my cabinet and open for a year. Finally finishing it today, so it's definitely well breathed.

Without water: Creamy nose with salt and strong but mellow peat-smoke. There's also a slight toffee sweetness not dissimilar to the Airigh Nam Beist. A hint of green apples too. I find the creaminess to be the overriding aspect.

Palate - initially salty toffee with the peat arriving later. Still a little bit creamy too - toffee ice-cream?

The finish without water is a tad overpowering. With a few drops of water added I'm finding the peat takes charge on the palate and particularly finish - which is smoky, very drying and long lasting. Hmmm - I prefer the palate neat, but the finish with water.

Corryvreckan is an absolutely superb whisky in its own right. But the problem with Ardbeg now is that the bar was set so high with the Nam Beist that even the best of the modern range can't top it. So let's not directly compare - this whisky is brilliant and even with a slightly lofty price tag it is still great value.

O

This was the second dram for our Ardbog Day 2013 celebration. We paired it with steak and eggs (a poached egg split over rare filet mignon).

Color: reddish gold

Nose: It always seems somewhat closed to me initially, time and persistence pay off though, salt spray, hay bales, hint of lime, peat smoke, earth, rubber, pencil eraser (the pink one), smoked almonds, some evergreen and honeysuckle. A little splash of water brings the limes and floral notes forward some.

Palate: full bodied and oily, sweet and hot, big peat, salt again, pepper, citrus, tarry smoke, charred green onion, evergreen, faint molasses, then becoming dry and prickly

Finish: long sweet smoke and chili heat

Overall: A salty, brooding dram, I have revisited it multiple times and appreciate it more each time. Good stuff.

Food note: worked splendidly with the steak and eggs. Note that the tasting note is before consuming any food (I think context is a huge factor with whisky tasting).

@alteredstate

The Corryvreken's mystical bottle design portends ominous tidings indeed! As I huddle in my dark drafty cave and gaze upon my row of potential drams by the dim flickering candlelight, i find myself peering apprehensively at the ancient black label with twisted lettering that almost seems to swirl. What sorcery is this?

Unbiddingly, the nectar is poured and a sense of impending doom overomes my senses...

Nose: Wafts of clorox bleach. Pungent overripe orchard fruit with slight sulfur notes. Sharp sea air. Lemon pinesol. (A must: let empty glass sit for a while, then nose it...just awesome aroma!)

Palate: 'In yo face' sharp and bitter notes with salt 'n pepper. Upfront smokiness with peat in background. Sweet and savory nonetheless with a touch of speyside. Mouthfeel is moderately thick.

Finish: oven-baked bread, sweet and salty. A surprisingly clean finish with lingering smokiness.

Overall: Need to brace yourself for this dram in my opinion. A potent brew indeed. Watch your fingers and toes while climbing on the rocky bluff in the swirling storm.

Comparisons: Compared to Lagavulin 12CS, it is more rounded with a speyside-like sweetness, but not as well integrated and lacking some depth. The Laphroiag Quarter Cask is much more approachable, but with really no depth and too sweet. In isolation, all are enjoyable drams, but is fascinating how different they really are when compared directly. No water was ever added to any drams.

Interesting you didn't add any water...I usually don't either. The Corryvreckan was probably my favorite whisky for a while but now I find it so dense since stumbling onto the Quarter Cask...and I'm almost more inclined to the QC..as you describe it is more approachable. Maybe I need to add some water to the Corryvreckan.

I didn't like water at first with the Corrie as it seemed to thin things out a bit too much, but maybe i should revisit adding water, just less of it. Good idea!

@vanPelt

Nose: After first pour, you notice smoky salt: The smoke is of the ashy variety, and the saltiness is sharp-- as if flavored with lemon crystals or another nose-stinging additive like pine or menthol. A little breathing brings out a more sweet/umami character, giving the impression of fatty salt pork or maple bacon frying. The mentioned sharpness is lighter, as if fennel seeds have been tossed in the pan.

Palate: A sequence from sweet honey, to rounded ashy smoke..., and then to the sharpness of salt and oil. Peppery earth comes in for a period...., and then this passes to nutty coffee as it enters the finish.

Finish: The nutty base sustains and is joined by tangy citrus, for the expected long finish. If you're looking for it, continuing to swallow can get you the impression of charred sea scallops doused in lemon & pepper.

Compared with other top-rated Ardbegs, the Corryvreckan is the more serious expression. From the Uigeadail to the Alligator to the Corryvreckan, there is progressively less sweetness, more acidity, and more saltiness. So in relation, I find this unbalanced and even a little jarring. Nevertheless, I understand the appeal to scotch drinkers preferring a harsher concoction: something that's quite pleasurable to drink while still reminding you you're alive (and perhaps boosting machismo points).

1/2 Year later: The Corryvreckan is much the same but has improved with some sweetness on the palate. Overall there is now more of a maple-vanilla sweet thickness, still salty and with decent smoke. For the added balance of the sweet notes, it deserves a couple more points: 85.

@DaveM

I just broke open this bottle. I have to admit I haven't had much experience with the Islay whiskys. I have only had the Lagavulin 16yo thus far. First the nose... waves of smoke as I had expected. I added a few drops of water, but I don't think it made much difference. This whisky has an intensity that just doesn't quit. As I write this, it is some hours later and I can still feel the smoke permeating my body. I did like it, but I think I need to work up to it as a regular whisky in my lineup.

@Pierre_W

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 Corryvreckan was released in 2008 and is named after the world’s second largest whirlpool, located between the islands of Jura and Scarba.

The nose is surprisingly delicate and full of fruity flavours, mostly lemon and oranges. Then come smoked ham and tar, followed by peaty notes. With water the nose gets even fruitier, with bitter chocolate also making an appearance.

The palate takes center stage with a bang! It is full-bodied and rich, virtually coating the tongue in salt and earth. It is also quite peppery, which is hardly astonishing given the high ABV. Again there are lemon and oranges. With water the earthy element becomes more pronounced, and coal smoke is released, followed by more lemon and oranges.

The finish is very long, very dry, as well as peaty and peppery. In addition some brine has now sneaked in, everything being well balanced. A terrific finish! Adding water subdues all elements a bit.

This is my favourite Ardbeg expression! I simply love how it starts with a delicate nose, luring me into a relaxing drinking experience, and then strikes hard with its mighty palate. I can virtually taste the earth, salt and peat in this palate – fantastic! Given the high ABV you might think that this is best enjoyed with a drop of water but in my experience the water subdues all the fun elements, which is why I prefer the charming abrasiveness of the full-strength Corryvreckan.

@Rantavahti

This was my first Ardbeg experience and what a way to start! It felt like I'd been acknowledged to a some sort of underground club. The way this whisky was treating me, it surely was the Fight Club. Only exception is, I want to talk about it.

Ardbeg Corryvreckan kicks your ass in a good way. It's raw but also a bit sophisticated at the same time. Giving me lots of small details buried in the heavy camp fire smoke.

According to Ardbeg, Corryvreckan takes its name from a famous whirlpool in the north of Islay. In that case they couldn't have picked a more suitable name for it.

Nose: Very intense smoke, smoke fried bacon with tar and pine trees. This dram is playing with heavy peat!

Taste: Nicely salty and smoky, richly peat. Some oil, spices and medicinal appeal.

Finish: Peat and smoke collide with small oil drops mixed in there as well.

Balance: Like having a camp fire barbeque in whisky heaven. This whisky is just the way I want it, a tough customer if I may borrow some hockey talk.

Ass kicker is right. This is the "Vlad Tepes" of Islays, scorched earth, staves, impaled tongues, and all!

I dare you to drink yer dram without any water.

In the world I see - you are drinking that waterless dram while you stalk elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you'll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.

^^ If there was a like button under your message, I would press it immediately. And sure, I'd take a shot without water any day!

@MooreJerka
@cask_strength

incredibly complex. Sharp sea salt, seaweed, bacon, and honey (butter?) nose. Peat smoke, sweet salted nuts, chocolate and coffee, slight hint of orange zest and wow fudge? with a very long, spicy sweet finish with smoke and pepper. An Awesome Ardbeg.

@talexander

Tonight - my birthday dram! Now entering my 41st year, I thought I'd celebrate with this incredible whisky. I had a sample at a tasting @Victor gave, but I bought a bottle the first opportunity I could find. I think this is the first Ardbeg I've owned (and so the first Ardbeg I've reviewed).

One of the three Kildaton-area distilleries (the others being neighbours Lagavulin and Laphroaig - what a trifecta!), Ardbeg was first licensed in 1815 and was used almost solely in blends. It was mothballed in the 1980s but slowly came back, helped along by being purchased by Glenmorangie in 1997. Since then, it has come back with a vengeance and is now recognized as one of the very top distilleries, with it's core 10 Year Old as well as various other more premium expressions.

And The Corryvreckan? Well, it's the second largest whirlpool in the world (google it - neat pics!) The packaging will tell you the whole legend of the Viking going into the whirlpool for his ladylove, and how it relates to the whisky, blah blah blah. Excellent example of romantic marketing (which Scottish distillers excel at). But what about the liquid?

It is a shimmering light golden colour. A fantastic nose: lemon, peat, seaweed, pine needles, wet dog. Medicinal. Hot, light and very pleasant - fruity citrus notes carried by the gentle peat smoke. Water accentuates the seaweed and iodine. Just smoky enough to carry all the other elements beautifully.

In the mouth: wow. Extremely mouth drying yet also oily. Very smoky (a wet, clingy smoke) but behind that, some light honey, light brown sugar, milk chocolate, lemon tart, grapefruit, very briny. Water makes it sweeter, which goes miraculously well with the rock salt and peat, makes it much fruitier. Stings the lips and dries the mouth. Extremely complex whirlpool (there's that marketing again!) of flavours: salt, smoke, tart, sweet - incredible. I'll be sitting with this for a while...

The finish is long but not too long. The smoke hangs back and allows the sweet maltiness to come forward. The balance of this whisky is perfect. Each element is slightly different yet complements the other in total harmony. This is as good as it gets. This is why I always come back to Islays - nothing on Speyside comes close to this (well, except the Macallan 1946, which was peated, so there ya go). And this is why Ardbeg remains one of my top distilleries. Slainte! And Happy Birthday!

I just picked up a bottle of this today. I love the "hole in the wall" packie by my office in downtown Boston. The guy has scotch and bourbon stacked all the way to the ceiling as its so small. Nice thing, and I dont know how he does it, you can sample almost anything you want to buy there....crazy. So I sipped a half dram out of a red solo cup (I know..I know). So as I am sipping in the goodness, the kid (early 20's) next to me says to the owner "hey, let me taste that shit"..to which the owner replies...."here, try some Chivas first"....lol!! So as much as I can judge from a plastic cup....This is a good deal different than the Ooogie...and vastly different than the 10 year. There is alot going on here...my palate is quite new to scotch, but I definitely pick up a good deal of vanilla in my mouth...I want to say salty vanilla thats been smoked all day in the back yard Weber :) My first touch to the tongue...I cringed. Too much band aid taste...but that was strangely only the first sip. The owner had just cracked the bottle open while I was there, so i wonder if it needs to breath as a good wine does??? All I know is, the second sip was perfection. Maybe it was because it was Friday and I should be in the office, not sipping scotch downstairs, but this scotch is a must have. I turned right around and asked for two bottles. I cant risk it being hard to get later on :)

@talexander, it is a fine thing to be reviewing fine whisky on your birthday. Encore une fois, Happy Birthday! This may be the first Ardbeg in your cabinet, but I suspect that it will not be the last. Cheers, our very good friend, from both me and from Dramlette!

@SquidgyAsh

So my wife and I had finally made it to the whisky bar, Helvetica, for the first time after months of trying and suffering setback after setback.

We'd had a very good evening so far, enjoying a Glenfarclas 12 yr old over dinner, then a Yamazaki 12 yr old, Hakushu 12 yr old, Glenmorangie Nectar D'or together at Helvetica, after which my brother and sister joined us at Helvetica for Amrut Fusion, Glenmorangie Astar, Aberlour Abunadh batch 35, and our last dram being the vaunted Old Potrero 18th Century Rye.

Now it was time for the last dram of the night.

Ardbeg Corryvreckin!

As I get up to get the last dram I happen to see a couple of guys who are looking quite far into their drinks eying us, but think nothing of it.

I go up and order my Corryvreckin and when I come back I see my wife, brother and sister in law looking VERY uncomfortable as the two guys I'd seen sitting next to my wife and talking to her.

"You look uncomfortable, maybe we can help with that."

I sit down next to my wife and put my arm around her waist.

"Hi guys, can we help you with anything?"

"Christ he's a yank"

Great, this is going to go well.

They continue talking.

"We were just noticing how your friend here is looking very uncomfortable" they say as they point to my wife.

"Ahh my friends I think you'd be wrong about that, considering that she just told you she's fine"

I hand the glass of Corryvreckin to my wife after a brief nose.

She noses it, trying to ignore the two guys, one sitting next to me now, and the other sitting next to her.

They make a few cracks about Americans. This could go well or bad, so I decide to start making jokes.

They comment that Americans are fat. I inform them that they're wrong. Aussies are fat, Americans roll down the street since their legs no longer support them.

This causes everyone at the table to blink and laugh.

"You said that dude, not us."

"I know! Do you know how you can tell an American apart from everyone else? They're the ones who needs the floors strengthened and the doors widened before they come into the building"

They start laughing harder and harder as I continue to crack jokes.

They then look at the glass that my wife has handed back to me as I give it a nose.

"Man, we've been seeing you smell those glasses all night, you can't tell me that you're getting anything different from it. It all smells and tastes like Chivas. Now gin, gin is a mans drink."

I laugh at them real quick and inform them that you each whisky has it's own different odors and flavors.

I nose the glass as I inform them of what "gin drunks" mean. I then start talking about what often goes into the distilling of gin and the way that it's done.

I then start calling out flavors in the Corryvreckin as I hand it back to my wife.

Nose: Definitely an Ardbeg with smoke and peat, but it's not so overpowering that nothing else shines, some phenol nuts, almost like rubbing alcohol, fruits mainly oranges, and seaweed notes come in through quite strongly.

The guys look at me and laugh as my wife noses the glass and looks at me and suggests that she thinks she gets a little bit of cherries in it.

The guy closest to me, the gin man, snorts and informs me that there is no way anyone could tear apart any drink like that and then hands me his drink and dares me to do just that.

I nose his drink, not quite sure what all has gone into it, but the smell reminds me obviously of gin, but he has some mixers in there, specifically lime and cucumber and pretty darn sure soda water.

So I start calling out flavors as I take a few small sips.

"Citrus of some sort, I'm say lemon, because your lime is coming through too strong as part of your mixer, there is some juniper and a hint of ginger in it. I have a strong flavor of cucumber which is quite unpleasant, but my friend you've damaged your drink by having it watered down so much with all that ice which is killing alot of the flavor that is supposed to make gin a pleasure to drink."

The guy blinks at me, looks at his friend and we all hear what we've been waiting to hear

"Come on, let's go"

We all look at one another quite relieved. This has caused a low point of the evening.

We finally get to take a taste of the thing we're there for, the whisky!

The flavors are awesome!

Smoke, peat, seaweed, some spices, the citrus comes out strongly but not overpowering the whisky and a follow up of the medicinal notes.

This is Ardbeg at it's finest!! And so well worth the wait.

There is a definite alcohol kick. But not so much that it was unpleasant.

The finish was long with the smoke, peat, seaweed and some pepper hanging onto my tongue.

Awesome Islay whisky!

This retails for roughly $150 AUS when you can find it, but it's worth it!

Now this was supposed to be the last whisky of the night, but as I go to pay the bill I see a new updated whisky menu as I'm paying and two things pop up.

Ardbeg 1998 Renaissance and the glory of all glories: Ardbeg Lord of the Isles for $50 bucks a dram!

I look over to my wife and make puppy dog eyes and being the awesome wife that she is, she nods. The night isn't over yet!

Next on the block after MUCH palate cleansing will be Ardbeg 1998 Renaissance.

Thanks for the kind words System!!

I actually worry about some of my reviews because I sit there going "Who's going to want to read my review when a good part of it is talking about what I was doing and who I was doing it with." This one had me pretty worried to be honest.

The 'vreckan is a brilliant dram though.

@Victor I hate to say this since there are many many awesome aussies that I've run into and made friends with, but when I first moved over to Australia my father in law who is from Vietnam informed me after I was harassed non stop for 6 months in one job that americans were just plain hated by some aussies and that I'd get more flack then he ever had. I hate to say it, but he was right. From what I've been told and seen the Australian states over east, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales are much more friendly. I'd actually love to move East. I REALLY enjoyed my time in Melbourne and can't wait to see Sydney and Brisbane.

That being said Perth is a BEAUTIFUL area and as System says the view of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean is simply breathtaking. So much so that my wife and I were actually married right on the beach.

As usual another great contextual review @SquidgyAsh! You really ought to write up some blog posts about your experiences!

The 'vreckan is a great dram indeed, I capped off a great expo night with it not too long ago. So warming, it never ends! Powerful yet elegant Islay.

@Victor Yeah unfortunately you get louts like that around the place. And "yank bashing" is a national sport here, particularly for the bogans (rednecks). The Perth / Fremantle bogan is renowned in Australia for being particularly uncouth, xenophobic, parochial, intoxicated and obnoxious. Having been at a sporting event in Perth I have seen it myself firsthand, and then at the pub afterwards. It's not all bad though - Perth is a really nice town and watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean from a vantage point at Cottesloe is a real treat.

J

Nose: thick peat and smoke upfront, black forrest fruits, pine tree sap, buttery, chilli, seaweed, slightly medicinal, campfire ash, oily olives, some plasters.

Palate: Oily, Peat and Smoke hit, salt, chilli, dried orange peels, lemmon rind, fresh oysters (good ones) oils, tar, slightly medicinal, clove and other spice.

Finish: Peat and smoke slowly taper out, chili, freshly ground oils from green olives, the peat is rich, distinct taste of fresh oysters again, grassy zestiness.

This is just an Excellent whisky. In the endless debate on which ardbeg is better out of the oogy and the corry I prefer the corry by just a smidgen. Though they are both very different.

@Dellnola

Nose: Smoke and peat, lots of fried bacon, stewed lemons, buttered toast, burning leaves, bandages, vanilla, maple syrup, cashews, salty cookie dough, road tar. Becomes more buttery and floral with water.

Taste: Peat smoke, salted butter, overcooked bacon, lemon zest, rubber tires, olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Very oily.

Finish: Billowing smoke, grilled anchovies, charred lemons, charred red peppers, and seaweed.

If you like peaty whiskies, you'll be happy with this. I am always impressed at how Ardbeg comes across so well-mannered at high strengths. At 57.1%, it doesn't kick me in the teeth and make my eyes water like some high strength whiskies (not that those whiskies were bad - A'bunadh, I miss you so). Anyway, it's very good, but if I had my pick of Corryvreckan or Uigeadail, it's Uigeadail every time.

"burning leaves, bandages, cookie dough and road tar"

WTF???

:->>>

Ok, I haven't laughed so hard for a long time - I am bringing this in to the manager's meeting tomorrow....

@chrisrbarrett

Light, light sun colour. Nose is minty and glue-like. Fresh fish and sea water (oyster-rific). Taste is rich and oily with lots of seaweed and iodine flavours. Finish is long and very tingly (it's a technical term).

@Rosal

Nose: Pine, Leather, Dark Chocolate

Taste: Pepper, Sea Salt, Medicinal

Finish: Long and warm. Almost felt like heartburn. Smokey and Medicinal. Peaty at the end.

@GT2

Served neat at room temp. Pours a white grape juice color...a little darker than normal Ardbeg 10 year old but overall very light SRM for whiskey. A gentle swirl provides small legs and a thick top ring laced with thick beads. Nose is really outstanding. Yes, it is clearly smokey but it is not something that stands out as smoke. No char, no wood, no burnt character. Instead there is honey barbecue, sharp chamomile, small peaty iodine, bitter citrus, very intense nasal "sting" from so much spicy alcohol character. Let this one open up into such a fantastic nose: very soft smolder and old world tar, very intense honey, flowers, herbs. In the mouthfeel, small honey viscosity with immediate saltiness and sharp brine moving to sweet barbecued meat and fat. On the palate it is sharp, softer, mildly warming on the esophagus with long, lingering heat and spice. Very long finish piling on honey, tea herbs, and sweet barbecue. Incredible softness with no single character dominating. Smoke is obvious, but not the only thing going for this one. Really incredible. Totally different from the normal Ardbeg 10. I'm not sure one is necessarily better, this one is just softer and more complex.

@WTC

The Corryvreckan is in our Islay tasting pack.

Tony says: "I am a big fan of Ardbeg, especially the releases of whisky made under the new ownership. In my opinion this is a bit like the uigeadail, in that its a bit mental, but with the new cleaner style I prefer(i.e. without that dirty peatiness others love). My ranking of the recent releases (bearing in mind I love them all): Renaissance, Super Nova, Corryvreckan, rollercoaster."

Dominic Tasting notes: "Nose: Not a million miles away from the Kilchoman, successfully pulling off that very difficult feat of marrying fruity sweet wine notes with sharp, gristy and industrial Islay smoke. Palate: It bristles with intense Barolo or Rioja like red wine notes and intense acrid coal smoke. It's a brutal malt, brilliantly balanced but hard-edged and flinty. Quite stunning. Finish: Full and forever. It's been a while...but boy have I missed this!"

Pat's tasting notes: " Nose: Immediate thwack of carroway seed, currants, salt, wood glue, beautifully integrated with the peatsmoke. Taste: Creamy and smoky, mouth-filling dark bitter chocolate. Late wood. Intensely drying."

Score is an aggregate of us all.

m

On the nose this very gentle peat smoke, honey, custard creams, waft of smoked fish, lime cordial. (Don’t plunge your nose too far into this – it’s 57.1%, for heaven’s sake.) Each time I take a whiff of this, I find there’s something else going on in the glass.

On the mouth, there are so many layered, intense flavours that just smack you right in the chops. There’s barley and treacle, brine and fire, citrus and pepper, a touch of oak and darkest bitter chocolate. This is mouthwatering stuff. That sweetness mixed with the smoke is so well balanced – in fact, if you want a text book example of a balanced single malt whisky, you need look no further.

Afterwards: a sort of biscuity, meaty, peppery, chilli-infused tang. The alcohol is so intense – cask strength – that the taste lingers for ages, nestling into all those taste-buds.

The second tasting a week or so later wasn’t quite as fine; in between this and the first, I sampled the Ardbeg Uigeadail, which really is breathtakingly good and which I must review soon. (Or perhaps it was the fiery food I consumed earlier.)

That said, the Corryvreckan is a powerful, spicy and wonderfully balanced dram.

@jmende1

Geek alert: I got into single malts about a year ago via an upscale lounge in NYC which sponsors free tastings on Saturdays. I nabbed a copy of a reputable whisky mag (well, it wasn't nabbing since it was offerred for free). It happened to have been the yearly review issue. This bottle was rated whisky of the year in that publication for 2009.

My relationship to smokiness in anything is one of an infatuated lover. In fact, my professed favorite smell that the earth can produce is a bonfire (preferably one with resinous wood for some reason). These things said....This bottle became my holy grail. I searched, but it was too late for me. All the stocks on the Northeast were sold out. I went as far as finding the original press release showing what retailers would have the bottle. Alas, I found one in the great state of massachusettes, a bit off the beaten path for me. no way in heck could I justify a sojourn to my wife just for whisky as a novice enthusiast. So I planted the seed. "C-O-R-R-Y-V-R-E-C-K-A-N is how its spelled," I said when asked what I want for Xmas. Somehow, she managed to find someone in California willing to ship it to me in NY. I love my wife. Now down to business:

Nose pre dilution: Bacon bacon bacon. Seaweed. Burnt dried fruit. Black fermented garlic cloves.

Nose post-dilution: Bacon bacon (fruit) bacon. Seaweed. Burnt dried fruit puree. I'll be honest, the aromas were just as strong, with a continuity that just has not been matched by anything else I've tried yet. This is a big Islay; not one that leads by injecting fear, but one who certainly asserts its authority. Its Michael Corleone in a bottle (sorry for the Godfather reference). In other words, its a young, powerful, unimaginably full of surprises and natural talent. There are bananas there, rum. This bottle is aptly titled. Hats off.

Food pairing: Main: Surf and turf that involves seaweed and mushrooms, a vegetarian plate. Sure you can do a nice fatty NY strip, but why make the meat the star? Why not the whisky?

I only suggested a main, because I wouldn't think of making this an appetizer whisky. Too big, too complex (and also too expenseive!). My hats off to you Corry. You've put a smile on my face.

@LOR

Nose: lots of smoke, burnt rubber-tires, hazelnut, peat, earthy, tar, banana, parfume. Palate: Peat, bacon, smoke, citrus, dry and citrusy finish, with a sweet smoky twist. Huge mouth-feel. Rich and medium-full bodied...just continues to grow in the mouth.

@lucadanna1985

Colour: sunlight

Body: thin legs, good body

Nose: immediately a strong whiff of peat; tar, strong alcohol, bonfire smoke, burnt rubber, sweet notes after a while.

Palate: stunning from the very beginning! Salty, smoky, sweet vanilla mixed with peat and seaweed, again tar and rubber. This is awesome! I've never thought about roasting some seafood plunged in vanilla on a grill, but this is the nearest thing that comes into my mind! One of the best palates I've ever tasted, this beats Uigeadail IMHO.

Finish: dragon-like finish! I'm breathing out smoke and surely I have liquid fire in my mouth! I'm not going to brush my teeth tonight, I'm sure I will wake up with a peaty breath tomorrow!

Overall: superbe whisky, worth every single cent! Kudos to Ardbeg!

97/100

P.S. I didn't dare to add water to this dram!

Great review! I've had the Corry in passing - at a friend's house after many many drams! - and so could not give it my full attention.

I'm a huge fan of the Oogy so if anyone says something is better than that then I have to look at it seriously. In your opinion how does the Corry differ? Their notes seem very very similar.

Sounds really great. I love the Uige so I have to go for this too I guess!

Am I right, that this is a standard release these days? I read something that it is limited too?! But it is on the market for over 3 or 4 years now, so will it stay?

Other question: Is it true that it is matured in 100% fresh european oak?

A comparison to the Uige would be very interesting indeed.

@markjedi1

Ardbeg doesn’t really need an introduction, so I’ll save myself the trouble. This Ardbeg Corryvreckan (NAS) has a beautiful gold color with a green sheen and a great viscosity. I am sampling the standard bottling from 2009, nog the Committee version.

The Corryvreckan is named after the world’s second largest whirlpool, north of the island of Islay. It has matured on French winecasks.

This one has a typical Ardbeg nose: powerful sweet peat, bitter orange marmalade, lime and even passion fruit in perfect balance with seaweed, oysters and smoke ham. The more patience you show, the more the sweet scents come out. But it is always in motion, making this a very interesting and complex nose.

Even when taking a careful sip, you’ll get a kick in the teeth from this aggressive dram. It starts of sweet, but soon pepper and smoke join in. Adding a little water won’t hurt. It pronounces the sweeter side of the whisky. This is truly a whirlpool of flavours. Liquorice, smoked ham, chocolade, seaweed, up and down, back and forth. And a pinch of seasalt to finish it off. Amazingly complex and invigorating.

The finish is long and warming and honors the nose once more: the sweat peat and seaweed come back for an encore.

This would make a perfect winter dram and is by far the best Ardbeg I’ve tasted so far!

@rwbenjey

Smoky, sweet on the nose. The minute is enters your mouth the peat and sweetness envelope the tongue. After this the sea salt comes into play and the finish is long and vegetal.

@I_SPEY

In the nose is vanilla, fruit and honey. And some subtle smoke.The taste is big and smooth, very nice, like the nose and at the same time reveals its true Ardbeg colours as vanilla, smoke and tar. The finish is rather long, as most Ardbegs do. So for me, this whisky is the best in 2008(and for a lot of others too, if I do remember well!

This is a great dram. poweful, Peaty, and citrusy. it shakes you up!

@TheCasks

Nose has sweet wood smoke, brine, pipe tobacco, black raspberry, dark chocolate

Tastes of wet stone at first, slowly opening up into a peppery, citrus, burnt raisin fireball, which erupts into a smoky, peppery maelstrom layered with subtle notes of black olive, chocolate, and burnt coffee. Shows incredible length and exhibits a bit more brine on its last, dying breath.

Akin to sitting comfortably in a large castle that is on fire

Summary: very complex, bold, expansive, balanced- best for a dark and stormy night

"Sitting comfortably in a large castle that is on fire?" I don't know how comfortable I'd be in any structure that was on fire!

Putting aside the metaphor, I do like the Ardbeg Corrywreckan. It is much more refined than the usual Ardbeg peat blast. Definite citrus/floral notes on the front with just the right amount of peatiness and pepperyness on the back.

I really must get a bottle of this. Thanks for the review

@galg

Nose:Peat of course, undoubted peat, but not too strong. you can smell lots of Citrus notes here, mostly Oranges and kumquat, and hints of spice. definitely an Ardbegian nose in terms of lemons and citrus. love it!

Palate: This is a really complex dram. It starts with a wham! , the alcohol bomb is released into the mouth. first you get the sweet tones, malty kind of, some burnt sugar. then, it changes into a more spicy,peppery, and smoky tones. very interesting indeed!

Finish: on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it 11. it’s very long, smoky, the peat is there with you for so long.the ashes do not seem to go away, and the peat/spice/smoke lingers in your mouth for hours. they really do.

Yep - I've had this one on my wish-list for a while...

It's a good dram, but still I think Ardbeg is going towards more peat and less complexity. That's a shame.

@benellefsen

Nose - Butter, creamy, Vanilla-rich, almost pine-resin freshness.

Palate - Creamy. So incredibly creamy! Spice, Nutmeg, and a huge and overwhelming hit of Vanilla Ice-cream (it's slightly dirty Ice-cream though. Something you might get in a cheap choc-ice). Moves into Orange-peel and clementine.

Finish - Salty, smoked meats make a big appearance. The peat is surprisingly fleeting amongst the other flavours.

Astonishing. Simply astonishing. I'd wanted to have a rant about the price-point for a NAS whisky, but simply can't bring myself to. Worth every penny.

Unlike the Supernova, about which people seem to have widely divergent opinions, I've read nothing bad about the Corryvreckan. It's high on my wish-list.

Of course, when professionals produce reviews like this it doesn't make it any easier to stick to my whisky budget... :p.

I've been hunting this whisky for months. I live in NYC, and in early 2010, it was shipped to several places (I found the press release of its US release), and ventured to call every single place it was shipped to....to no avail. My wife got it for me for Christmas and I'm revelling in it. Excellent review. Mine should appear soon.

@galg

distillery (ok, Head to head with Laphraoig which i also adore) is great news. The 10-year-old is indeed a cornerstone of any whisky lover’s home bar. my current Ardbeg favorite is the Uigeadail, which is my favorite dram right now (that changes with the season and mood), which is hard to beat. sherry and peat are a match made in heaven.

When i first read about the release of the Corryvreckan , i just knew i was going to buy this baby, although it’s not a cheap malt, and costs more than the Beastie(Airigh Nam Beist) it replaces in Ardbeg’s line of products. i am going to do write a post about the soon to depart beastie, but it’s considered by some the best Ardbeg to date.

i got the Corry on the morning, and didn't wait much to taste it, last night, and here are my notes:

Ardbeg Corryvreckan 57,1%, OB 2009 color: Golden yellow. darker than i had expected

Nose: Peat of course, undoubted peat, but not too strong. you can smell lots of Citrus notes here, mostly Oranges and kumquat, and hints of spice. definitely an Ardbegian nose in terms of lemons and citrus. love it!

Palate; This is a really complex dram. It starts with a wham! , the alcohol bomb is released into the mouth. first you get the sweet tones, malty kind of, some burnt sugar. then, it changes into a more spicy,peppery, and smokey tones. very interesting indeed!

Finish: on a scale of 1 to 10, i’d give it 11. it’s very long, smokey, the peat is there with you for so long.the ashes do not seem to go away, and the peat/spice/smoke lingers in your mouth for hours. they really do.

on an interesting note, i put the empty glass in the sink, and went to sleep. in the morning, when i woke up and went near the sink, i could smell the wonderful smell of peat smoke, still in the glass. after more than 8 hours!!!

To sum up: this is one of the best Ardbegs i have sampled so far. with it’s Cask stength and complexity, it’s well worth the price. i would put it one notch below the Uigeadail which is my favorite. but if you are an Ardbeg fan, or an Islay Peat-head, this is definitely a must dram got to have handy. i am waiting for the cold winter nights, to drink a wee dram of this, and get warm all over

I have only recently sampled this and agree at the power and majesty of this dram, with a touch of water it's one of my favorites. Im still a bit pissed with Ardbeg and this constant release programme of "limited" edition whisky.

@malthead

Nose of Islay together with dark chocolate, a touch of coffee and some red berries. First a lot of chocolate and coffee, pepper, then Islay, but smooth and a little bit more in the background. Water will kill the chocolate and underlines the smooth Islay character.

You are a pretty tough messenger....

Was looking over the scorings in the reviews. 90+ all the way, then this one... 65? really? that's tough!

@WhiskyNotes

Nose: peat smoke mixed with lemons, fresh kumquats but also slightly overdue oranges. Walnuts and wet wool. A few grassy notes and hints of heavily toasted bread. Coffee and a few spicy notes emerge after a while (pepper and ginger). I even picked up hints of violet candy which is quite remarkable. They were gone quickly, but it proves the Corryvreckan is indeed a real whirlpool of flavours. Mouth: very strong impact, starting rather sweet but evolving towards a spicy / savoury profile. Peppery with generous coal smoke. Lemon again, liquorice, phenols, very Ardbeggy. Toast with peach jam. Some cocoa. Finish: very long, continuously switching between peat, salt, mocha and pepper. Hints of olive juice.

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