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Ardbeg Perpetuum

200th Anniversary Nose

0 1388

@VictorReview by @Victor

26th Jun 2015

0

  • Nose
    25
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    20
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    88

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Ardbeg Perpetuum is the 2015 Ardbeg Day release, celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Ardbeg Distillery. There is no age statement. Ardbeg reports that both bourbon barrels and sherry casks were used for aging Perpetuum. The reviewed bottle has been open for 1 month and is courtesy of @Nock

Colour: very pale

Nose: sharp-edged, mostly high pitched slightly acrid smoke and medium-sweet peat accompany well-integrated malt flavours. Brine and a very slight hint of wine influence are well-integrated into this phenomenal nose. Absolutely first rate. If you hadn't told me there was wine cask used here, I would not have thought there was any present

Taste: sharp on the palate as it is in the nose, especially after 4 weeks of air time; bitter briney peat is more prominent in the mouth than in the nose. The palate is not as well balanced as is the nose, but still very enjoyable

Finish: goes a little more sour and bitter than I would have preferred, but if you like sour and bitter, then you will like this. The acrid peat and smoke hang around on your tongue for a week

Balance: loses balance on the palate into the finish. Four weeks after the bottle was open the flavours have come out even more strongly than at first. They are, however, less harmonious 4 weeks later than they tasted when the bottle was first opened. I rated Ardbeg Perpetuum 91 points when the bottle was first opened

The wine influence in Perpetuum is so slight as to be almost imperceptible. Overall this is a very nice Ardbeg, which in style is very much like Ardbeg Ten. For me this would be about a 70th percentile Ardbeg Ten in quality, at twice or thrice the price of Ardbeg Ten. The nose is truly outstanding, however, and very worthwhile

Water added: 1) homogenised the nose, 2) emphasised the smoke and brine on the palate, and 3) mellowed out the finish and made it much smoother

Strength: excellent strong flavours, other than the wine which might as well not be there. Score: 24/25 points

Quality: very good quality of all of the flavour elements, before it steers strongly sour-bitter. Score: 23/25 points

Variety: very good selection of flavours, when you look at the nuances. Score: 22/25 points

Harmony: balance and harmony are excellent in the nose, but are lost mid-palate going into the finish. Score: 19/25 points

Total non-sequential score: 88/100 points

Comment: this is another good Ardbeg. I'll be happy with one bottle of this one, though, and will shop for good batches of Ardbeg Ten at half the cost

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13 comments

Taco commented

I gotta say I have really gotten to like this one over the past month. Initially it was way too much charred wood and ash, but that has dropped off with air. It does have similarities to the Ten, but I get more ashy peat, which I enjoy. There is a bit of sherry, obviously more than the Ten but less than Corryvrecken. I would say it is better than all but one of the Ten's I've had over the years (still have a bottle of that one!), and is more comparable to Corryvrecken with a bit of SN2014 tossed in. Here the Ten is $40-45, Corry about $70-72 and this is $75-77. I definitely feel it's worth the bump, but only if you like a bit of ashy taste. The SN2014 had too much for me and was $120, so I bought only two. I have three of this one and might pick up another if the price doesn't go up.

4 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

if only I could get my hands on ONE bottle of Supernova at that price. Here in Ontario? $335.95. Even with the exchange rate...

4 years ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Thanks for a nice review, @Victor. The similarities to the 10yo version have been pointed out to me by other fellow malt maniacs. I still need to open my own bottle and find out for myself.

4 years ago 0

@Benancio
Benancio commented

@Victor Thx for you honest, don't pull any punches review, I think that's what most of us appreciate.

Ardbeg is very up in the air with me, i know batch consistency isn't easy, but I'm the consumer, deciding where to spend my money comes from consistency . Some Ardbegs are SuperNova great.

I've noticed that Ardbeg doesn't take water very well, it seems to only dilute its complexity, have you noticed the same or is it just my perception?

4 years ago 0

@Nock
Nock commented

Thanks for the lovely review. I do think the bottle has changed some. I will have to report my findings soon. I agree that YOUR Ardbeg TEN bottle is better . . . but it is hard to find a great bottle of the TEN anymore. Most are very think and weak on the palate and finish. The other night I sampled four different Ardbeg TEN's from the past 3 years. None were as good as the Perpetuum. Somehow that 47.4% really stood out from the crowd on the palate and finish.

4 years ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Victor @Nock @Taco Would you say it remind you of the Ten of 2011? (Or was it 2010?) That was one I was shy at the time to admit I prefer to the Uigeadail precisely because of its ashes and pebbles. I am not shy anymore. Since I usually like my Scotch with less sugar than you, Victor, I think it might be one for me. Please enlight me!

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Robert99, I think you'll need to reference specific batches of Ardbeg Ten to make comparisons with Ardbeg Perpetuum. (and get me samples of those batches which I don't currently own!)

My own references were to L10 152 Ardbeg Ten, which I do consider much superior to Ardbeg Perpetuum. Other Ardbeg Ten batches which I have tasted, but do not currently have batch numbers for, seemed a little lesser to me than Perpetuum. It is true that comparisons are much easier if you are tasting them head to head, which, other than L10 152 Ardbeg Ten, and L10 151 Ardbeg Uigeadail, I have not done. Those two I do like much more than Perpetuum, head to head, but it is worth noting that they are my favourite batches of each of these two whiskies.

@Robert99, my guess is that you will like Ardbeg Perpetuum.

4 years ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Victor Thank you for your detail answer. Unfortunately, a few years ago, I was not paying much attention to the batches as I was not really aware of batch variation.

On a totally other subject, as a fan of Prohibition, I think you would like my last vatting with it. I posted on the appropriate thread. Have fun!

4 years ago 0

Taco commented

I'll have to check my remaining bottle, but I think it was L11 195. It was excellent and equal to the Lagavulin 12's of 2010 and 2011. No Ardbeg 10 since has been that good, so I'd say the Perpetuum is better than the 10 you can get now. As I said earlier, definitely has an ashy peat character which I enjoy. Had a dram earlier and it is still very good stuff.

4 years ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

@Victor While not overly impressed I'm quite happy with this particular expression from Ardbeg. Frankly anything from them that doesn't disappoint me deeply I chalk up as a small moral victory. I've decided I'm always going to get two of each Ardbeg Day releases. Pretty sure selling the entire lot when I'm mean and old will be a good gift for the kids.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@MaltActivist, you expect to get mean when you are old? I am 62 right now, and a lot of people think that that is old. Of course I still frequently play basketball against people 40 years younger than I am...not in the tuxedo though. My 72 yo sister is one of the wildest whisky and spirits people I know. She's not selling anything. Every week she's buying more of something. Soon she'll need another house just to store it all.

As for the Perpetuum, I am glad that I own some. I learned to appreciate noses more after getting into this whisky hobby more seriously, but yes, if I have to choose, I will take a great palate over a great nose every time. For that reason, I sound a little lacklustre in my praise of Perpetuum despite giving it a good score. Making a policy of buying the Ardbeg Day releases is a good tactic...though it is really just the prospect of more Supernovas that makes my heart race.

OK, OK, sure, there are still some excellent batches of Uigeadail and Corryvreckan, and if I didn't have a lot of good batches of those stored, I would be lusting after those too.

4 years ago 0

Taco commented

@Robert99 there are no bad Ardbegs, just lesser ones. I still have a bottle of Perpetuum set back and would buy more, even though it is twice the price of the Ten. I just opened aTen I got in a strange case with two mini glasses for $45. So far it's not as good as the older ones, but I'll give it some time. The Ten is still a great value. Ardbeg is one of the few SM's that I prefer neat or with a tiny dash of water, as it doesn't really need much water and will drown. My take is that the Ardbeg (and Glenmorangie) Ten's are the best buys in SM out there, and I also buy each special edition by both distilleries as I find them quality whiskies and very interesting. For example, I found the Tusail (Glenmorangie) to be a really pleasant whisky for only $70-75.

4 years ago 0

@sengjc
sengjc commented

Nice one, mate. It's not a bad drop. Glad I am not the only who thinks so.

4 years ago 0

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