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Ardbeg Supernova 2014 Committee Release

To Free or Not Too Free?

0 891

RReview by @Rigmorole

19th Sep 2014


Ardbeg Supernova 2014 Committee Release
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I'm writing my review of a most DELICIOUS RARE whisky on the eve of a very auspicious event in indeed, which very well might affect the future creation & distribution of my very favorite beverage: namely SCOTCH!

Here are my tasting notes on the latest Supernova:

Nose: Burning driftwood fire, citrus fruits, black Jamaican coffee, lemon rind, vanilla bean, Pine Sol cleaner, All Spice, lovely oily industrial overtones that cannot be done justice by metaphors. An acquired taste, to be sure, that is so abundantly present in this superb bottling.

Palate: Oh that Ardbeg peat! It's hauntingly pungent in the best of ways. Along with this, I get Chinese pepper, wet moss, pine needles, espresso, iodine, cashews, wint-o-mint, dark chocolate (over 85% cacao), smoky roasted hot chilies, and a return of the tar-like fury of Ardbegian peatessence. Oh lordy, I'm in heaven now!

Finish: Ferry boat pylons and seawater, creosote, thick juicy back bacon cooked to a crisp on an iron skillet, smoky pipe with natural tobacco, fennel, very pleasant lingering mouth feel that stays and stays. I love the way the meatiness comes out in the finish. Brilliant that!

Speaking of food for thought, a few weeks ago, I very much enjoyed hearing Ralfy's commentary on the subject of Scottish independence.

As for David Bowie's comment, "Scotland Stay with Us," which was read by Kate Moss at the Brit Awards, well . . . I wasn't at all surprised to hear his point of view. After all, Ziggy Stardust, Bowie, et al, has worked all his professional life on behalf of cultural programmers that hail from Orwell's infamous Oceania. Half a century's worth of propaganda and also brilliant song writing from David Jones's "British invasion" certainly extended and still extend into the whole wide world, picking up speed in most of the English speaking nations.

I've sometimes wondered how many songs Bowie actually wrote himself. A charmed life that man's led. In me mind's eye, I picture a cadre of government shrinks and behavioralists, along with a bevy of talented subcontracted song writers, helping to create Bowie's psychologically primed lexicon, as well as his musical cannon.

As for Kate Moss, I sat next to her in the early 90's at Max Fish, an East Village bar in New York City. She looked bedraggled at the time, hardly runway material. I didn't say a word to her but it was somewhat eerie and also thrilling to see her up close for the length of time it took to drink my beer.

Moss was going through a rough patch then, if the tabloids are to be believed, and I was quite impressed that she would sit in the middle of a bar filled with NYC bohemians, some of whom were outright animals capable of nearly anything. Then again, NYC was known then for leaving celebrities alone to a surprising extent. I'm sure Moss's look was partly a disguise to keep her from being recognized. Nobody that I could see was talking to her. She drank alone in a bar packed with people, which was not only brave for a celebrity of her stature but also quite sexy in a shabby chic way.

Actually, Kate Moss looked much better at the Brit awards just recently. She has aged very well indeed, as has Bowie, who was born in 1947, a few years after me dear old dad.

Bowie walked in front of me with his entourage at a Cycle Sluts from Hell concert, also in early 90's. I recognized the silhouette of his profile instantly. When I told me friends that Bowie had parted the sea of leather babies and sweaty one-generation-too-late punk wannabees nobody believed me until rumor spread about twenty minutes later that he was seated in a special balcony above us along with his entourage.

In all fairness, Bowie's music was a huge influence on my musical tastes, not in my teens, but rather in my early 20's, weirdly enough, when his sound enjoyed a resurgence that went along well with the emo side of grudge. Bowie is a masterful performer, as is Mick Jagger. Both of them are quite convincing as artists cum propagandists. Very powerfully believable, much to their credit, even right down to Bowie's latest comment at the Brit awards, which most likely was not even penned by Bowie himself, but who cares after all? The quote sounded so touchingly heart felt!

As Ralfy so aptly pointed out, Scotland is one of the few countries that discovered huge quantities of oil off its shores and then became poorer.

The other country of note? Haiti. After oil was discovered there off the shores of this island nation, one disaster after another struck, not least of which was the spread of cholera imported by disaster aid nonprofits. I'm sure that was totally an accident. Ironically, and tragically, the cholera epidemic killed far more people than the earthquake. Let's hope some sort of weird and untimely disaster does not befall Scotland if the people vote for independence. These things have a way of accidentally happening whenever billions upon billions upon billions of pounds are at stake. . . .

Speaking of cold hard cash, if you can find a bottle of Ardbeg 2014 Supernova, BUY IT. Yes, it's a bit overpriced, but it's worth ever last ha'penny, not to mention each pound!

And even if you hate Ardbegs the blessed green bottle is already a collector's item. Me? I opened mine, and I don't regret the decision. Not one little bit. My plan is to drink it faster rather than slower. And now I shall experiment with water, a few drops of which are most welcome in this 110 proof glass of Orc-like rebelliousness: "Fiery the angels rose and as they rose deep thunder rolled around their shores, indignant, burning with the fires of Ardbeg Supernova."

As for Scotland, "To be free or not to be free, that is the question." Then again, who's really free these days in the era of all things global? You'd have to live in a cave to be free, living off highland peat water and sun-warmed meadow muffins? Well, I for one would vote "yes," but nobody cares much about the opinion of a Yank when it comes to Scottish independence.

And now, time for another hit of the Supernova. Glug, glug, glug! Actually, I was fairly lit, thanks to the brilliance of Ardbeg's latest (albeit limited) offering, when I penned this whisky review. My apologies. Never drink too much as you type about what to drink. It's something of an oxymoron. I just can't seem to stop drinking the blessed stuff that is Ardbeg. . . . one more sip and I shall be speechless

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Rigmorole commented

As to the color of this whisky, it is much paler than "full" gold. It reminds me of the ten year offering, which I don't regret one little bit. I would be interested to see it next to the earlier Supernova. A side by side comparison would be brilliant. Any takers? Alas alack I cannot do it. I only have this latest one to savor.

9 years ago 0

Taco commented

This is definitely not "full gold" as the notes from Ardbeg say. More of a pale straw similar to the Ten, like you suggest. Most definitely an Ardbeg product, but also quite different from the three standard bottlings. Also changes both in nose and palate with water and time, although the citric (lemons), spice, and ash continue (in that exact order), the effect becomes more creamy and rounder. Although I don't have a bottle on hand to compare, it seems similar to the Ten, but more intense. I'll have to pick up a Ten to do a HTH.

9 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I found it considerably more complex than the ten, but I didn't compare it side by side. In fact, the last time I tasted a ten was at Ardbeg Day 2014 when I compared the Auriverdes to the Uigeadail and the ten. I liked the Supernova a lot, but I suspect it wasn't the tour de force of the original Supernova. I have no way of knowing however because I never tasted the original back in the day.

This said, I don't plan on opening my last bottle of Supernova unless Ardbeg starts coming out with them regularly, which, actually would bum me out. Why? Because I paid the steep price of a rare collectible on both bottles not some regular issue. For its age, I think the Supernova was way overpriced. The original was much more reasonably priced. Frankly, I will be pissed off if Ardbeg makes a regular thing out of Supernova, even though I have a Committee Bottling that nearly cost me $200 and regular issue bottles would probably not be labeled Committee unless Ardbeg really gets greedy and sells out its Committee members.

As for Scotland being free enough to collect its own taxes on oil revenue and whisky revenue, I see that won't be happening any time soon, unless the banker/rulers of the UK figure out a new scam to make independence seem grand in Scotland, Northern Ireland, etc. It's certainly possible. After all, the British/Venetian/Khazarian Empire of the East India Tea Company days (when the allies of the wars in the 1700's were listed as this company and the enemies were whole countries like France, Spain, Prussia, etc.) learned how to delegate the bulk of the cost of maintaining an empire through clever consolidation even while on the surface colonies were allowed to claim their "freedom." Most Americans would be shocked to learn how the NYSE is actually run by English banks. Jon Stewart's brother Larry is the go-to buy for that little scam.

As for Scottish Independence, hey, it's possible one day: Goldman Sachs and the major (English) banking interests behind the "American Curtain of Oz" did it with so-called green energy. After polluting the crap out of the world for centuries, these covert rulers convinced the public that they were all about saving the world from climate change. I never cease to be amazed at how psychopathic the core power structure of the planet truly is, and how utterly gullible the bulk of the population is (those that have enough time, in between school-work-sports-biological reproduction, to actually give some thought to the who, what, when, where, and why of life.

Here's the latest scoop from the UK Bluffington Post: huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan/….

And here's a taste of Matt Taibbi's legendary Rolling Stone article called The Great American Bubble Machine (the same principles apply to the UK): BUBBLE #6 Global Warming

Rewind to the year 2009: It's early June in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama, a popular young politician whose leading private campaign donor was an investment bank called Goldman Sachs — its employees paid some $981,000 to his campaign — sits in the White House. Having seamlessly navigated the political minefield of the bailout era, Goldman is once again back to its old business, scouting out loopholes in a new government-created market with the aid of a new set of alumni occupying key government jobs.

Gone are Hank Paulson and Neel Kashkari; in their place are Treasury chief of staff Mark Patterson and CFTC chief Gary Gensler, both former Goldmanites. (Gensler was the firm's co-head of finance.) And instead of credit derivatives or oil futures or mortgage-backed CDOs, the new game in town, the next bubble, is in carbon credits — a booming trillion dollar market that barely even exists yet, but will if the Democratic Party that it gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a groundbreaking new commodities bubble, disguised as an "environmental plan," called cap-and-trade.

The new carbon credit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that's been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won't even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.

Here's how it works: If the bill passes, there will be limits for coal plants, utilities, natural-gas distributors and numerous other industries on the amount of carbon emissions (a.k.a. greenhouse gases) they can produce per year. If the companies go over their allotment, they will be able to buy "allocations" or credits from other companies that have managed to produce fewer emissions. President Obama conservatively estimates that about $646 billion worth of carbon credits will be auctioned in the first seven years; one of his top economic aides speculates that the real number might be twice or even three times that amount.

The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the "cap" on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually; for comparison's sake, the annual combined revenues of all electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.

Goldman wants this bill. The plan is (1) to get in on the ground floor of paradigm-shifting legislation, (2) make sure that they're the profit-making slice of that paradigm and (3) make sure the slice is a big slice. Goldman started pushing hard for cap-and-trade long ago, but things really ramped up last year when the firm spent $3.5 million to lobby climate issues. (One of their lobbyists at the time was none other than Patterson, now Treasury chief of staff.)

Back in 2005, when Hank Paulson was chief of Goldman, he personally helped author the bank's environmental policy, a document that contains some surprising elements for a firm that in all other areas has been consistently opposed to any sort of government regulation. Paulson's report argued that "voluntary action alone cannot solve the climate change problem." A few years later, the bank's carbon chief, Ken Newcombe, insisted that cap-and-trade alone won't be enough to fix the climate problem and called for further public investments in research and development. Which is convenient, considering that Goldman made early investments in wind power (it bought a subsidiary called Horizon Wind Energy), renewable diesel (it is an investor in a firm called Changing World Technologies) and solar power (it partnered with BP Solar), exactly the kind of deals that will prosper if the government forces energy producers to use cleaner energy. As Paulson said at the time, "We're not making those investments to lose money."

The bank owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange, where the carbon credits will be traded. Moreover, Goldman owns a minority stake in Blue Source LLC, a Utah-based firm that sells carbon credits of the type that will be in great demand if the bill passes. Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, who is intimately involved with the planning of cap-and-trade, started up a company called Generation Investment Management with three former bigwigs from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, David Blood, Mark Ferguson and Peter Harris. Their business? Investing in carbon offsets. There's also a $500 million Green Growth Fund set up by a Goldmanite to invest in green-tech … the list goes on and on. Goldman is ahead of the headlines again, just waiting for someone to make it rain in the right spot. Will this market be bigger than the energy futures market?

"Oh, it'll dwarf it," says a former staffer on the House energy committee.

Well, you might say, who cares? If cap-and-trade succeeds, won't we all be saved from the catastrophe of global warming? Maybe — but cap-and-trade, as envisioned by Goldman, is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues. Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make, cap-and-trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private tax collection scheme. This is worse than the bailout: It allows the bank to seize taxpayer money before it's even collected.

"If it's going to be a tax, I would prefer that Washington set the tax and collect it," says Michael Masters, the hedge fund director who spoke out against oil futures speculation. "But we're saying that Wall Street can set the tax, and Wall Street can collect the tax. That's the last thing in the world I want. It's just asinine."

Cap-and-trade is going to happen. Or, if it doesn't, something like it will. The moral is the same as for all the other bubbles that Goldman helped create, from 1929 to 2009. In almost every case, the very same bank that behaved recklessly for years, weighing down the system with toxic loans and predatory debt, and accomplishing nothing but massive bonuses for a few bosses, has been rewarded with mountains of virtually free money and government guarantees — while the actual victims in this mess, ordinary taxpayers, are the ones paying for it.

It's not always easy to accept the reality of what we now routinely allow these people to get away with; there's a kind of collective denial that kicks in when a country goes through what America has gone through lately, when a people lose as much prestige and status as we have in the past few years. You can't really register the fact that you're no longer a citizen of a thriving first-world democracy, that you're no longer above getting robbed in broad daylight, because like an amputee, you can still sort of feel things that are no longer there.

But this is it. This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It's a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can't be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can't stop it, but we should at least know where it's all going.

9 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

@Taco my bottle of the Supernova has been dusted. If you do a side by side review of SN along with the 10, I, for one, will be reading it with interest. I always enjoy your insightful observations and I find your sense of taste and smell quite keen.

9 years ago 0

Nock commented

I have noticed that you changed your score from the original 95 down to 91. What was your thinking? I have noticed that when I first opened my Supernova from 2009 that it was far better. After a few months my over all score dropped. The SN2010 started off lower and has only gotten better with air time.

So was your first score based on it being fresh? Or did you change it because of your overall take on the bottle?

9 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Lost some of its savor in time. The more sophisticated notes lost their voice. I found that by the end of the bottle I did not catch so many nuances in the finish especially. Still a cracking dram though

9 years ago 0