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Ardbeg Supernova 2010

A Star Is Born

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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

2nd May 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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In 2009 no less than 21.000 bottles of the Supernova were released. It was an 8 year old Ardbeg from bourbon casks at cask strength. It sold like hot cakes, especially after the 3.000 bottles of the Committee Release (2.400 for Europe, 600 for the States) were sold out in a matter of hours in January of the same year. With its 100ppm, this is the most heavy peated Ardbeg around. A 2010 release was written in de stars. The ABV is even slightly higher.

On the nose, I get a weird kind of sweetness at first, one that I would not associate with Ardbeg. Yep, there is peat, but the most heavily peated Ardbeg? Could have fooled me! The lime and apples are present, sure, but toffee, caramel and even roses appear. Smoky, with tar, tobacco, cod oil and wet grass. Exceptional. That is the least you can say of this Supernova. After some hand warmth, it shows a salty side with some mercurochrome and soot. But it has a young streak, almost like new make. And I really like it. Adding water brings out more soot, yet also sweetens it further.

It is very grassy on the palate and now shows the true force of the phenols. Yep, this is very powerful indeed. White and black pepper, liquorice, eucalyptus, aniseed, allspice. The citrus is now almost a concentrated syrup. Halfway through, a truckload of salt is added. Zesty and sweet, slowly turning bitter as in grapefruit. Wow, I am really fond of this! Adding water makes it sweeter, mainly on vanilla.

The finish is very peppery, but wonderfully sweet.

Obviously, a supernova is a dying star, but for me this is a star born in the cask. What an Ardbeg, so different. I am going to get me a bottle of this. Around 100 EUR.

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