Ardbeg Supernova 2014

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Thanks to /u/Marcovici for this dram.

Been having some lower scores lately. Not because I’ve been trying to, just the way it is. I usually plan out my reviews months in advance, due to the amount of samples I have.

Decided I wanted something cask strength, or at least high strength, and ridiculous. So I went for Ardbeg Supernova 2014.

This dram is silly because it’s yet another “big amount of peat” whisky. Everyone at some point wants to make a super peated whisky. Everyone.

And some actually do. It’s like a tall ass mountain. You climb it because it’s there. Does it make sense? Of course not! You can’t live up a mountain! You’re not a goat (unless you are, in which case check out my can reviews as well).

So I’ve done one of these before. 100 to 125 PPM of peat. In comparison, Ardbeg 10 is 55PPM. So they doubled it. Does that mean it’ll be amazing? No, but it’s certainly interesting. They have some ground to catch up on Octomore.

This is the third Supernova of the series. I’ve reviewed the 2010, so why review this one? Well every batch is different. This one, for instance, has sherry casks involved. What kind of sherry? I don’t know.

It also has a lower Abv than previous releases as well. So I go into this expecting something nice, however I reserve judgement based on fear and self-loathing.

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Price: Not there anymore. I swear it was $350 at one point, however… shit, can’t find it anymore.

Region: Islay

Abv: 55%

Colour: 2.5Y 9/4

Nose: Peat, lemon, cookie dough, floral, pepper, smoked meat, sandy beach at dusk, cocoa

Yes, there is peat.

Oh, I should go on. Good plan. I’ll continue.

You’d expect just a ton of peat and nothing else, however this ends up more nuanced. The cookie dough is kinda amazing, the floral aspects really pop, and it set off memories of being on a beach in Florida (Gulf side).

Taste: Pepper, salty, salami, pudding, butterscotch, Cheerios, Cola

Odd, it’s not super peated. However maybe the extra peat has changed. The smoky, meaty aspects pop out.

Not as hot or as intense as the 2010. This has some aspects that remind me of bourbons too. It almost falls under a Laphroaig vibe with the salt.

Interesting dram.

Finish: Smoke, lemon, ginger, anise, currant, peppered bacon, wood, dry pear, sugar cookies

Big, huge finish. Complex as heck. Sherry really adds some cool parts to it, and that sugar cookie finish is perfect for a fatty like me. Fatty likes sugar cookies. A lot.

Conclusion: A very good dram, that’s what I’ll start with. The large amount of peat may get you to buy it, however it’s not the main event. This tastes like if Uigendail was made on another planet, like ours, but with green sky and blue grass.

Just different enough. My score for Uigendail may be too high though. None the less, I want a little more sherry influence here. The taste wasn’t crazy as I wanted. The finish was really good. The nose was quite amazing.

Pick it up, if you can. Or at least try it. I hope the next one uses port casks.

88/100

Scotch review #369, Islay review #79, Whisky Network reviews #568

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