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Ardbeg Perpetuum

Average score from 6 reviews and 7 ratings 86

Ardbeg Perpetuum

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Ardbeg Perpetuum

This is a review of the regular Perpetuum expression (not the Committee release) Ardbeg produced to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the distillery in 2015. According to the distillery this was matured in both ex-bourbon barrels and ex-sherry casks.

The nose starts with flavours of porridge and malted barley, followed by a touch of cardboard. Later on, notes of smoked ham and ginger develop. Quite ashy, too, and well balanced overall.

The palate is medium-bodied, oily and spicy. The smoke has now become tarry and comes together with flavours of brine, lemons, vanilla and a hint of green apples.

The finish is rather long, with notes of butter cookies, lemons, brine, salt, and smoke.

Perpetuum is not my favourite Ardbeg expression but it is not bad either. A very decent whisky in my view, with a nice panoply of flavours and well balanced.

I had a sample of the Committee release. Was decent but not worth the $400+ it goes for.


Today I feel to treat myself with something is right down my alley. Ardbeg is one of my favorite distillery but I neglect it recently. So I poured myself a dram of Perpetuum from a bottle that have been opened for at least 6 months but that is still 90% full. Let see how it goes.


I have vanilla, straw, pear, mint and citrus that combined with the salt, smoke and peat. The smoke is big but with time the mineral side so typical of Ardbeg is coming forward. From time to time, I get some sherry influence but it's faint.


I was expecting a thin mouth but no, there is a small coating. The sherry influence shows itself by giving an impression of a warm fireplace and soem caramel. The mineral side of Ardbeg is now big with the usual pebbles and soot everywhere. To me, it is a lot like the Ten from the years previous to 2013 or 2014, when it became to sweet and too much about the vanilla. That is saying that it has the same flavors that I get on the nose but less fforward.


The finish is all about the soot at the beginning but after 30 seconds, I have sweetness coming back and I am left with a very well balance mix of flavors.


Ardbeg Perpetuum is like the Twin brother of old batch of the 10 and I am not talking about stuff from the 80', I am talking about batch from 2010, 2011. There is also a little sherry influence. I like the austere style of that time, but I know it is not for the majority, although this expression is sweeter than the 10 from 2011. It is very good, but as a Glorify '10, it is overpriced. I would be willing to pay 20$ or maybe 30$ more than for the 10, but not the 70$ more that the SAQ is asking. Here, it is even 10$ more than the Uigeadail.

@Nozinan You mean Ontario has a better price on a whisky than another place on Earth ? Amazing!

@casualtorture OdysseusUnbound got it right. Sorry if I was not clear. To be honest, there are many Scotch at the same price that are not as good as this one, it's just that the 10 is an exceptional value to which it is natural to compare it to.


This limited release (from earlier this year) celebrates the distillery's 200th anniversary. It is a mix of different casks, including American oak, French oak, refill and many others.

The colour is a very light straw, similar to the Ten but cloudier. Rather restrained on the nose, this is quite grassy with salty sea air, lemon pith, sweet peat and buttered croissants. Pineapple, believe it or not. Smokier with water. Rather floral, and maltier than the usual Ardbeg.

On the palate there are many of the same notes, with peat, lemon, vinegar and brine. Lots of citrus, actually. Light oils. Malty but with very little oak influence. Sooty. Comes together nicely with water; very nice.

The finish is great - a big long burst of seaweed, lime and wet campfire. I brought this on vacation in Halliburton with my girlfriend (who is a committed peat-head) and she loved it. I really enjoy this - it's a lighter version of the 10 Year Old, but shares many of the same characteristics. Dave Broom scored this one a 90. All but impossible to find now, I think.

@talexander. Unfortunately I can't promise you any great bargains here, but you might find something you can't get at home. You might want to PM Nozinan, he was out here last week and picked up a few items. I recently picked up the 2015 Cairdeas at around $100 and the latest Bowmore Tempest at around $80. Enjoy the film festival. You just missed some nice sunny weather here. we are back to the more seasonally normal...rain. Cheers.

I can get it for $80-85 w/tax. Ten is $45-50.


Has the hype died down a bit? Good, then we can get to work. In front of me is the Perpetuum (which means something like ‘for all eternity’) that you could only get at the distillery during Feis Isle and will now cost you between 200 and 500 EUR… I crawl back into my seat, after having dropped to the floor in surprise. Next to it is the ‘regular’ Perpetuum which appeared not much later and initially also created a stampede, but at the end of the end was quite easily obtainable for the regular price of around 100 EUR. That is a good thing. I put them head to head, because the regular release has a ABV that is almost 2% less than the festival release. To make reading easier, I will refer to the bottles as AP and APDR (for Distillery Release, of course). The color is the same on both.

The nose of the AP is plesantly sooty and typically Ardbeg. Sweet on honey and apples, with candied lime peel. Quite some ashes as was to be expected. Surprisingly soft. The APDR needs a little more time and is surprisingly different. Sweeter with less of the typical sootiness and even a sour edge from citrus. It also has some yellow flowers, which I did not see coming. So far, the score is 1-0 for the AP.

On the palate, the AP is quite brutish. While I found the nose elegant enough, the palate immediately gets a kick of peat and wood and some spices. Think ginger and black pepper. Dried seaweed, which I quite like. Midpalate it becomes pretty salty. The APDR, with the slightly higher ABV, is almost as elegant on the palate as it was on the nose. Both are, however, the same type of vatting of both bourbon and sherry casks and different vintages (the PR boys claim it contains both old and young Ardbeg). It is less spicy and offers a lot more citrusy notes. Grapefruit on steroids. On the palate, the APDR wins hands down: 1-1. A tie so far.

The finish on the AP is quite long, spicy and evolves from mildly sweet to brackish. The finish of the APDR is brackish as well, but offers some plasticine at the death. I am afraid this means that, despite the general opinion so far, I prefer the AP in the finish. 2-1 is the final verdict.

This certainly is good Ardbeg, but I have had better, like the Ardbog or even the Auriverdes. Having said that, I still much prefer spending my money on the great Uigeadail.

86/100 vs 85/100

Great head-to-head! I've never tried the perpetuum and I'm looking forward to doing so


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

@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.

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.


This year I fulfilled a dream I've had for a long time now. Visiting the tiny island of Islay during the Islay Whisky Festival to visit the distilleries that have had me captivated for so long.

And, of course, there was one open day that I was looking forward to the most. Yes, you guessed it - Ardbeg. I know they've been disappointing so many of us for so long now but there's still something that draws us all back.

So we all got up bright and early and on May 30th entered the distillery grounds to much fanfare. A live band, smoked Oogies and Corrys, seafood stalls, an ice bar and of course the Ardbeg Perpetuum - this years' Ardbeg Day Release.

I didn't maintain any high hopes, mind you, given Ardbegs' recent lukewarm releases. Which I think is probably the best way to approach anything in life. Less chances of being disappointed.

The final whisky contains a mix of different ages and casks (both bourbon and sherry), including a small amount of the oldest Ardbeg malt currently available. How small I wonder?

My sample is from an open bottle served at a funny 47.4%

Nose: It's not bad. Nice peat smoke. Almost a char to it. A lot more vanilla than you normally find in Ardbegs. Smells quite creamy. Like custard. There's a hint of iodine. More medicinal eucalyptus if you like. Touch of fruits. It's not spectacular mind you. But I quite enjoyed nosing it.

Palate: Creamy mouthfeel. Lots of soot. Ash. Smoke. The vanilla is back. So are the fruits. Hint of oak. Spices. White pepper. Strong Earl Gray tea. Salty too. The first dram didn't do it for me, though. Had to have a second to come around to quite liking it.

Finish: Quite long. Salty. With a touch of oak.

This is quite a decent whisky. I like quite a bit. I don't know if it was because I was on Islay since everything tastes amazing on that island. I'll try it again in a few months and decide. Till then I am happy to give this my nod of approval.

@MaltActivist, thanks for your review. You are drinking from a standard bottle of Ardbeg Perpetuum, the same as the broad public release, I am assuming.

Tell me, if no one had told you that sherry casks were used in Perpetuum, would you have thought so? I would not have thought so. Perpetuum tastes to me most like an above average, and slightly outlier, bottle of Ardbeg Ten.

My scoring of this whisky is much the same as is yours, except that I like the nose much better than you did.

@Victor Yes, my sample is from the public release bottling (silver seal). Regarding sherry I didn't give it much thought when drinking it. And you can see that there are no sherry related notes in my review. So, yes, if I didn't know I probably would not have suspected.

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