200 years – That`s a long time. Ardbeg DistilleryArdbeg has a long history but if it had been a human it had been dead and resurrected  a few times – a miracle! One of the resuscitative efforts is the Ardbeg Committee and it is a great idea. It’s a worldwide fan club and in Sweden we go berserk about peated whisky and Ardbeg in particular.

As a Committee member I feel special…or at least I felt special when I could buy the Rollercoaster Committee release.  I imagined that the Committee members over the world could somehow sign up for the committee releases and  get those precious beige labeled bottles…… but no….. not in Sweden anyway. I have ideas how that could be done…….. (call me Moet/ Henessy). So I´ve lost that special feeling. I still adore Ardbeg though.

It´s not the greatest whisky I´ve had but generally you know what you get (except the age of the whisky) and I like what I get. In Sweden we are quite lucky to get a lot of bottles to “systembolaget” (our state controlled monopoly for selling alcoholic bevarages).  So I think I got my hands on all the Ardbeg Day releases. And drunk them as well…. I´m not really a collector but I do get a bit crazed over some bottles!

We will see if we can get a bottle or two of Perpetuum,  the Ardbeg Day release for 2015 – with the distillery celebrating 200 years. If not it´s not the end of the world I suppose….but still,  I´d like one.

I celebrated Ardbeg Day in The Ardbeg Embassy in Hässleholm, Sweden. Since  David Francis from BevNordic and Moet/Hennessy was booked for another “Day” tasting we got the opportunity to be the first bunch to official taste Perpetuum in Sweden.IMG_4250

David guided us through 5 expression of Ardbeg or you could say six since we got to try the Ardbeg 10 in the non alchoholic” Haar” expression. Haar is the gaelic name for the Islay fog and the name of the machine in which Ardbeg Ten is “bouncing” around on soundwaves until it makes a fog where all the taste of the whisky os captured but no alcoho is leftl. We inhaled the smoke through a straw. As a non smoker my first try was a bit coughy  but the second try let me taste all the flavours in a strange way through the straw. I kind of liked that!IMG_4240

The Ardbeg Day Tasting Line Up in Hässleholm:IMG_4238

TEN

Auriverdes

Uigedail

Kildalton

Perpetuum

 

Kildalton was great. I really liked it but don´t think I ever buy it…it is too expensive. Perpetuum (half the price) is almost as good. Auriverdes surprised me beeing a bit dry in the mouthfeel and I didn´t find the coffee notes I know I found in it before (especially at last years Ardbeg Day celebration at the Embassy in Stockholm). Uigedail is a must have in the whisky cabinet even if I find Corryvreckan  one notch up!

So here is Perpetuum –  as it turned out last in this line up:

Nose:  Toffee, butterschotch fudge, melted butter almost burnt, some fruit and bitter citrus. With water- fresh vanilla. Not much peat/smoke.

Palate: Lots of sweetness, fruits and vanilla. Peaty but not so much.

Finish: White pepper in sweetnes. Long and with a soft peatyness.

It had a fullness in the mouthfill and was less peaty than the rest in the linup. The others had some heat in the palate or the finish. Here you could find white pepper but not the chili sting. What I can say about the tasting is that the whisky spent a looong time in the mouth. Wich one of the five we tasted it was,  I do not know, but I it lingered for quite som time. A sweet peatyness that is lovely. Maybe Perpetuum is found more peaty/smokey if it stands on it own.

We will see what the next few years have in store for Ardbeg. If it can breath on it´s own or if there will be need for Another round in the life support machine. As it is now I would think the hype is big enough for Ardbeg to stand on it´s own and expand. But you never know when the bubble bursts. In this case it will spread a sweet peaty scent in the air if it happens. But I look forward to new expressions and maybe not only extremely hyped and limited ones. Affordable would be nice!TEbW_Logga