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SMWS 33.80 - A foodie's delight!

No Rollercoaster, this is an Ardbeg big dipper!

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@ConnosrReview by @Connosr

11th Feb 2010

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Overall
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Try as you might, its impossible not to get excited when you taste a new Ardbeg whisky for the first time. Let alone a single cask bottling limited to just 242 bottles.

This is an 11 year old whisky bottled by SMWS - labeled "A foodie's delight" - and we had the pleasure of sampling it earlier this week.

The nose is classic Ardbeg but here the smoked almond notes are emphasised by a creamy oiliness. More medicinal tendencies controlled by her smoothness. A dry warmth like standing near sauna coals.

On the palate, peat? smoke? salt? Yes to all three but delivered in a creamy butterscotch wrapper resulting in something genuinely luxurious. The peat although pronounced has a gentle dry warmth, robust without being aggressive. After a few seconds a note of grilled fish skin comes in, some dry spice and something green and fresh.

Water emphasises her rich texture, she clings to and caresses the palate before the inevitable pang of separation. You hold her for while but in the end she has to go.

But her memory lingers, a long unhurried finish of rich peat and oak notes balanced with a satisfying and gentle sweetness.

Balance? Exceptional, this is an outstanding example of what an Ardbeg can be. She's no rollercoaster, too luxurious and controlled with intriguing depths. More of a big dipper.

Astonishing. Own her. Guard her jealously.

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9 comments

@PeatAndMeat
PeatAndMeat commented

This sounds absolutely delightful.

9 years ago 0

@yossiyitzak
yossiyitzak commented

Man, what I would do for a sample of this beauty!

9 years ago 0

@Lee
Lee commented

Had me wanting more, all the way up until the mention of grilled fish!

9 years ago 0

@Connosr
Connosr commented

@Lee if you tasted it you'd know what we mean. If we'd said BBQ'd prawns would that have helped?

9 years ago 0

@Lee
Lee commented

No that would be worse. Just not a fish food kinda person. Grilled steak then yes. But I'd try it out of curiosity - I never say no to new experiences.

9 years ago 0

@Connosr
Connosr commented

@Lee Sadly despite its complexity there is nothing remotely bovine to be detected in this whisky :(

9 years ago 0

@PeatAndMeat
PeatAndMeat commented

I often pick up on leathery / fishy notes in Ardbegs so I get what you're saying.

9 years ago 0

@PeatAndMeat
PeatAndMeat commented

How quickly do these bottles sell out at SMWS? if there are only 242 available.

9 years ago 0

Helen_SMWS commented

You have to be a member of SMWS to buy bottles, and with the Society releasing up to 20 different casks every month (from a range of 126 distilleries), there's plenty choice.

Some casks are more popular than others, a recent bottling from Skye Distillery 14 sold-out in 40mins. But the beauty of the single cask means discovering the 'Cinderella Whiskies' you may never have tried before.

But beware, its this journey of discovery that will leave you hooked (and usually wanting more).

9 years ago 0

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