Thanks to /u/methshin for the sample of the Distillery Release.
I’ve had a few of the Ardbeg Special releases now. I’ve heard tales that, long ago, they were much prized and amazing. Since then… well things may not be as good, but I’m still hopeful. I like Ardbeg, and feel that this is only a minor slump into the bog, which eventually they’ll get away from the jaws of the Alligator.
Or something. May have mixed my metaphors there. It’s confusing being me.
Ardbeg Perpetuum was released as part of Feis Ile, aka Xmas for Peat Heads. It also coincides with Ardbeg’s 200th birthday. Dr. Bill created it using young and old Ardbegs, aged in Sherry and ex-bourbon casks.
So it’s NAS, and it comes from many casks. Interesting by itself. Could just be clearing some shelves, or could it be that they’ve found the right balance of young and old, like lesbian milf porn.
Hopefully it doesn’t have the same fishy aftertaste.
You’ll notice there’s two versions here: One is the antidote. To life maybe! HA!
Oh, wait that makes me sound depressed. Ignore that. The Distillery Release is the initial release to Ardbeg Committee members as a thank you. Some made it out. I ended up with some.
Let’s see how they taste, shall we?
Price: No longer at the LCBO. I think it as $160 (CAD) though.
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Peanut butter, peat, pepper, lemon, puff pastry, raisin
Lots of peanut butter. Not Kraft though, so I”m sad. Maybe it’s Skippy. Fucking Skippy thinking it’s the shit. Kraft is king of Peanut butter.
Takes some time, however there’s some nice notes to this. It’s a little weaker than other Ardbeg’s I’ve had.
Taste: Butter, watery, smoke, eggplant, peanut
Watery, watery, watery. Tisk, tisk. Not cool Ardbeg. I wanted something thick and vibrant, like in the past. Not… watery. The flavours are really muted, like my TV during commercials.
Come on, not all jokes are amazing.
I took forever on this one, and still just the 5 notes above. Simple. Watery. BAH!
Finish: Smoke, pepper, bubblegum, marzipan
Lots of marzipan on the finish. Which I like, because… well, it’s marzipan. And that’s tasty.
That’s about it.
Conclusion: Still better than Blasda. So… that’s something.
How much old whisky is in here, I wonder? Because it tastes young. The peat is muted. It’s watery. If I didn’t read it somewhere, I wouldn’t find any of the sherry in this. My wife hates Sherry and she didn’t even notice any.
So… maybe not so hot. Kinda sad that Laphroaig, who I wasn’t as big of a fan boy, has a much better 200th anniversary bottling the same year. Oh well, at least I only bought a sample.
Ardbeg Perpetuum Distillery Release
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Peat, orange, pear, pepper, steak sauce, potato, lemon
I’m not going to lie. I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman. It was just a BJ and some fun fingering.
Also I was expecting this one to be very, very similar to the last. So much so that I broke up tasting them by a night. Because I’m accurate like that.
This is more pepper, more earth, and less sweet than the last. I like it better, actually. Seems to have a little bit more going on. Though I do miss the Peanut Butter.
Taste: Lemon, pepper, fennel, mango sorbet, peanut
Good news: Not watery. More citrus. More of the sherry casks got into this one, I guess. Still not that interesting, save for the Mango Sorbet parts.
Even then, that’s like one happy BJ in an abusive relationship. Not really making it worth it.
Finish: Peat, pepper, leeks, anise, smoke, cocoa, vegetal
Bigger peat flavour at the end. More of a peat bomb here, and more complexity. The earth really lends itself to this dram. Again, less sweet that the standard.
Conclusion: Better than the one before, but not 100% loving it. It almost feels muted, like they didn’t peat it enough, or didn’t use good casks, or something. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to sip on, and I’m glad I could try it.
Also it shows me that those Committee Releases are something different, so there’s some faith in Ardbeg back. However it just didn’t “wow” me. I can’t taste the forest for the trees.
That doesn’t make sense.
I’m saying that it’s a nice peated drink, but I’d rather the 10 or Corvy or Uig or any of the others. I’d pass, especially given the high price it’s going for on the secondary.
Scotch reviews #413-414, Islay reviews #84-85, Whisky Network reviews #645-646