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Ardbeg Kildalton 2014

Average score from 3 reviews and 3 ratings 89

Ardbeg Kildalton 2014

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@markjedi1
Ardbeg Kildalton 2014

I had heard lots of good things about the Ardbeg Kildalton, but it was not until Sven C. offered me a sample that I was able to finally taste it. Consequently, my expectations were high. The nose is rather soft with nice notes of ashes and soot, the obligatory citrus and a hint of plasticine. A drop of honey and a hint of dried apricots. Smoked ham. Soft on the spices, though. After a few minutes it turns quite brackish, like sea water. I quite like that. Not big, but fine just the same. It is equally soft on the palate, I must say. The peat is nicely pronounced, the smoke development is good. There is a green side to it. Garden herbs? Ginger, some pepper and some lime tea that was infused for too long. The brackish notes return after a rather sweet start. I catch myself waiting for some epiphany, but it does not happen. In the surprisingly short finish on more tea and smoked ham, I get something mentholated, but it is all gone before you can blink. What is all the fuss about? I truly wonder. I saw this vary in price from 300 to almost 600 EUR. Damn, that is a lot of bottles of Ardbeg Ten, which will give me a lot more pleasure than this one. Sorry, but this is a little Ardbeg.

@WhiskyAndMe

Very often when you buy a special 'distillery only' release(even if its from Ardbeg) you wonder if it's worth the additional premium you need to pay to acquire it. Well with one.. I can surely say that I'm one extremely satisfied customer.

Nose: The journey begins with the familiar whiffs of peat and iodine.. like you have reached good old Islay once again. Further probing brings outs the juicy cantaloupes and rip honeydew. There is also candied sweets in the mix. The distinct iodine notes now mellow down to a more eucalyptus kind of smell which is really nice. Leaving the dram to breathe brings out the wood and caramel form the bourbon cask along with some bananas and oranges. The nose does have a lot to offer in this one.

Palate: The palate isn't too sweet to begin with. But that isn't a problem really. There are oranges and a fair bit of pepper that come together. Also some charred/grilled meat in there too. Add to that some over 60% dark chocolatey notes. The sherry cask gradually begins to show its impact with a mild dryness that envelopes the mouth. The second sip brings a lot fresh cut fruits. Again a very fine mix of various flavors that come out from this creamy dram.

Finish: The end is smokey with peat, wood and mild pepper, coffee notes coming through. Once again there is dryness that is left behind at the end of this possibly from the Sherry cask

Another Ardbeg that has left a lasting impression!! Slainte!!

@rigmorole...I assume that's your blog ...that's very well written... Well to be honest I'm not feeling too disappointed with the price of this one specifically.. firstly cus the monies are ultimately going for some cause and secondly cus the whisky itself is quite good...but with any other normal NAS that is over priced I wud agree with u..

Thanks for the great review! I really enjoyed hearing about the sensory impressions associated with this unique whisky.

@MaltActivist

Needless to say, and for those who know me, I have been an Ardbeg fan ever since I can remember. Which is basically to say I can only remember as far back as four years which is when my journey of whisky madness commenced.

Ardbeg was my muse and I collected and sampled as many expressions as I could humanly get my hands on. Of late, though, following on the heels of the Uigi, Corry and Alligator, it felt like my once favorite distillery was losing steam. The Fies Iles were not as powerful as the spirits that had captivated my attention.

Ardbeg Day was OK, not bad. The Galileo again missed the mark for me. Ardbog was decent. Auriverdes was so-so in my opinion. There was more mediocrity than there was greatness. And that was saddening.

And so when the new 2014 Kildalton came out I was skeptical of the spirit inside. But like a spoilt child in a toy shop I had to have it just so that it could sit on my shelf for all to see.

What I did not know was that my distillery had taken this moment to announce, what I hope is, a true return to form.

Bottled as a way of supporting the North Highland Initiative charity that supports fragile, rural communities across the North Highlands in Scotland.

Available only at the distillery Ardbeg Kildalton takes its name from the nearby Kildalton Cross. At 1200 years old the Kildalton Cross is an icon of Islay and Scotland and stands six miles along the coast from the distillery. Ardbeg also released a whisky by the name of Adbeg Kildalton back in 2004.

It has been matured in a mix of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks (both 1st fill and refill) and comes in at a chewy 46%.

Nose: Mild peat. Warm tangerines. Touch of toffee. Melon fruitiness. More like Lovehearts. Delicate parfum with a hint of oak. Faint ash. And iodine that transcends into a more floral eucalyptus. It's a wonderfully balanced nose and shows a lovely range of complexities the longer you sit with it.

Palate: Chargrilled citrus. Smoke and peat. Lemon sweets. Mild spices - more white than black pepper. Fruity vanilla and apricot. Hints of wood. The mouthfeel is quite deliciously creamy. Dries a touch in your mouth signaling good quality sherry.

Finish: Long with mocha wood and a touch of mint. The drying sherry is back.

After a really long time I was treated to some classic well-balanced flavors from Ardbeg. The intention and packaging behind the whisky are both noble. I would, however, love to know the age of the spirits inside. I'm going to guess nothing older than 9 or 10. But then age is just a number.

Welcome back Ardbeg. You were sorely missed.

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