For a huge number of us peat-freaks (yes, we here at Master of Malt include ourselves firmly in this category), Ardbeg whisky is the absolute pinnacle of Islay distilling, and often seen as in a league of its own when it comes to awards and ratings.
Since its acquisition by Glenmorangie PLC in 1997, the Ardbeg Brand has gone from strength to strength, winning awards and plaudits the world over, and garnering a fan-base unlike anything else in the world of whisky. Master of Malt have even heard tell of several devotees with enormous Ardbeg Tattoos covering their backs – what other whisky can lay claim to such unbridled fanaticism?
If anything, the huge uplift experienced by Ardbeg since its acquisition has somewhat overshadowed the ‘main event’ of Glenmorangie itself. More...
After one of the greatest montages in motion picture history (the training sequence in Rocky IV), came the epic fight between Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago (a fight that ended with a victorious Stallone and also what looked like the beginning of the end of the Cold War).
A similar title fight took place in the whisky world last year, when Bruichladdich flexed its peaty muscles with Octomore, and Ardbeg came back with a well-placed right hook in the form of Supernova – the peatiest Ardbeg yet - weighing in with peating levels of over 100ppm!
The interesting thing was Bruichladdich’s riposte – Octomore 02.1, a monstrously phenolic whisky at 140ppm. The odd thing is, it just doesn’t knock your socks off like Supernova does. The ‘Laddie just doesn’t seem as punchy, and perhaps this is because Bruichladdich’s style is much lighter and fruitier than Ardbeg.
When we first tasted Supernova we were beguiled by the medium weight nose of toffee and tequila. It leads you into a false sense of security. What comes next is a palate entry of mescal, smoked paprika and iodine, and then it develops into the biggest chili hit you’ll ever experience in the world of spirits. It’s just mind-blowing! More...
After many weeks of unsubstantiated rumblings about a new bottling from Ardbeg, the rumours can finally be dispelled.
Upon visiting Ardbeg’s website, one discovers an absolutely intriguing page, reminding us more than a little bit of Scooby-doo cartoons of yesteryear.