Let this be said, im not a big Ardbeg fan. All this hype and malarky the distillery has been engaging in has really turned me off. These days Ardbeg have many expressions which i dont think are worth their stellar names let alone their lofty price tags. However, there are always exceptions, this is Supernova, the 2009 edition.
Nose: peat, smoke, oil, petrol, road tar, pungent stuff, black pepper, chili, dry earth, with time vanilla comes through some sweetness just creeping through the peat blast. With water surprisingly some heather honey is there, it also becomes slightly softer.
Pallet: it’s savoury, hickory sauce, bbq sauce HP sauce, it’s reminding me of all of them, pepper and chili again, through the development some fairly rich butterscotch comes through which is strange but lovely. Another fairly dominant note is smoked crispy bacon. With water it is slightly more balanced the sweetness comes through more and lasts better some vanilla as well.
Finish: peat smoke (of course), spicy and earthy, mouth-watering very very bitter chocolate great length. With water sweetness lasts into the finish, spice on the edge of the pallet, salty and again great length.
Mark neat – 9.0, with water 9.2
This is a superb whisky. Im not usually too partial for big peat monsters but this has complexity and beautiful balance. Its not easy to find this whisky, one measure cost me 40AUD. But after my last two exams of undergraduate it was just the ticket.