There are odd drams out there, ones that don’t really sound…. too amazing, yet you need to try. You need to somehow hunt them down and have a dram, because this insane alcoholic game of Pokemon you have going in your head.
Wait, just me? Alright then, moving along.
Given the description, Ardbeg Blasda is an odd duck. It’s bottled at 8ppm compared to the typical 24ppm. It’s meant to be lightly peated. It costs a lot and it’s hard to get. And for what? Why would you drink a lightly peated Ardbeg? What next, a Lowland that doesn’t have strong floral notes?
I wanted to try this dram, none the less. So I ordered a sample, because sometimes I have more money than sense.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Colour: White wine
Nose: Sour peat, light lemon, juniper, sea salt, white pepper, cherry, roses
Given the moniker of “lightly peated”, I honestly didn’t expect any, yet peat was the first thing to pop out. That said, there were nice Gin-like elements in the nose, and as it opened up they took on a sweet/sour/floral aspect as well. This is quite nice to nose, not too harsh at all, compared to the 10 year.
Taste: Sea salt, grape jelly, peat, oranges, anise
Big iodine splash with some sweet fruits, but not a lot going on here. The 10 has more complexity than this, where as this is just mostly anise, iodine and peat.
Finish: Peat, dirty potatoes, raisins, blackberry, tannic, dry
Raisins are the only nice part of this finish, and if you don’t like raisins, you’re boned. And not proper boned, you’re just boned, like the other person is reading a comic book and yawning a lot.
Seriously, raisins are the shit, you should try them again. Especially in Butter Tarts.
Conclusion: I’d like to start by saying that I actually had high hopes for an Ardbeg that was only lightly peated. In other Ardbeg’s I’ve found flavours that pop out and fight with while pairing nicely with the peat. Here I was expecting some of those flavours to take centre stage, yet I ended up with some tart, tannic, and dry parts that were only barely there. I’m glad I didn’t end up with a full bottle of this, and hope that Ardbeg tweaks it in the future to be more than just a novelty.
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