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Ardbeg Kelpie Committee Exclusive Release

Average score from 1 reviews and 1 ratings 86

Ardbeg Kelpie Committee Exclusive Release

Product details

  • Brand: Ardbeg
  • ABV: 51.7%
  • Bottled: 2017

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Ardbeg Kelpie Committee Exclusive Release

Back to back Ardbegs! That’s how we like to live our life. Especially if there’s not much to complain about. After the funny sounding An Oa it’s the equally ludicrous Kelpie.

Jackie, over at the visitors centre at Ardbeg, was kind enough to set aside a case of the Committee bottling before our trip to Islay on account of them disappearing off the shelves well before the Feis rolls around. We had a couple of wee sips while at the distillery but nothing formal.

Last night was the first time I actually sat down with it.

So what is it? To be honest it’s just another cool story that’s trying to conceal how young this whisky is. Really. Look, I appreciate all the endearing tales they come up with – who doesn’t – and more than that I appreciate each and everyone who works at the distillery. They are the absolute best.

And it’s because of that we all smile and nod our heads as they tell us tales about monsters covered in seaweed that emerge from the depths of the sea or listen attentively to brand ambassadors as they explain what virgin oak from the Black Sea is. I’m still not quite sure, to be honest.

But I don’t want the age of the whisky to detract from the fact that this is a perfectly acceptable tipple. Nothing much wrong. Nothing much spectacular either but then the industry has been letting us down so often that we’re rather happy when something is not absolutely horrendous.

Oh, the pain of living in a world where we crave adequacy.

“Stop being melodramatic” says my brain.

“Shut up” says my heart.


Bottled at 51.7% my sample is from a brand new bottle.

Nose: Rather sweet and citrus-y. Custard like sweetness. Lemon like citrus. Then the signature tones. Ash. Soot. Seaweed. Wait! Not seaweed. Kelp. Of course I smell kelp. Grapefruit. Eucalyptus (finding a lot of this lately). Let it sit and it becomes more grainy. Barley. Quite a sharp and piercing nose. Not in a bad way. In a young way, maybe. Some olive oil. Some balsamic vinegar. My wife makes a salad dressing like this. I like the salad dressing. I like this nose.

Palate: Good delivery if a little thin. Ash. Soot. Charred banana leaves. Spices. Lots of spices. And here are some more spices. Nutmeg. Clove. Cinnamon. There’s something a touch bitter here. None of the sweetness found on the nose. With water it turns more grainy. More chalky. More limestone. I wish it was sweeter.

Finish: Decent. Oily. Citrus. And that soot.

Overall Comments: It’s an Ardbeg. It’s a good Ardbeg. I wish it was a smashing Ardbeg. But that’s ok. I’ll settle for a perfectly adequate Ardbeg. The story is cute. Something about monsters. The casks are weird. Black Sea and all. I’m just happy it doesn’t suck.

Nice review. Do you think you smell kelp because of the name? Have you smelled Kelp in other Ardbegs? I can't believe it's because of the wood...

@Victor, I agree with your sentiment concerning Ardbeg releases. I have owned only three expressions of Ardbeg: Corryvreckan, Uigeadail, both of which I have enjoyed countless times, and Ardbog, which awaits my impending arrival in Maryland. The overuse of special releases by Brown-Foreman with their Jack Daniel's product line is second to none.

Notes by Connosr

Ardbeg Kelpie Committee Exclusive Release

This page describes the Committee Exclusive Release of Ardbeg Kelpie bottled at 51.7% ABV, which was available to Ardbeg Committee members in March 2017.

Ardbeg Kelpie is the annual Ardbeg Day release for 2017 - named after a mythical sea monster which dwells in the Gulf of Corryvreckan off the island of Islay.

The official tasting notes promise a powerful, spicy nose full of smoked fish and seaweed notes along with a herbal edge. The palate, they say, has pepper, coffee, dark olives and smoky bacon. They go on to say that the finish is long with notes of clove, toffee and tar.

Of course what interests us is what the legion of reviewers on Connosr have to say about it. So if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle post your Ardbeg Kelpie tasting notes here. We look forward to your reviews!

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