Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ardbeg Perpetuum – the bicentury beg vents out some smoke

The stopper sounds like a pressing the ignite on a expensive car. It just makes the necessary sounds with the right tone. It sings quality and well thought finalization. Not letting things half made, or just good enough. But the stopper sound does not tell you anything about the whisky, but it can compliment the overall experience.

20150714145456-IMG_0016_small Ardbeg produces their special bottling (or two) each year. Some of those bottles travel to this faraway land, which hasn’t seen much summer this year. The Perpetuum is a NAS bottling (again) and it contains different kinds of Ardbegs that has been matured in bourbon and/or sherry casks. I did have a long wait for this one, as Ardbeg is one of my favorite drams.

There are different Perpetuum versions out there (the Committee version is, I hear, a better one) and this one is from the bigger batch (alc 47.4%). But let’s get down to the business, shall we.

The nose is very different from the recent Ardbegs I’ve had (like Galileo and Uigeadail). This has a lots of direct smoke, dryness and ash. I have to admit and to ask.. “where’s the peat?”

The nose brings out ashes and smoke at first. Then the spices follow with the oak wood. Saltiness gains more ground as the more hasty notes have run away. The following sips enhance the smoke and bring out some peat too. This is interesting, since this reminds me a lot about Kilchoman’s three year old drams they bottled 2010 and 2011. My memory may fail me, but the Kilchoman resemblance is very strong in this one.

So, I can’t say this is bad. I like Kilchoman and I love Ardbegs. This is not the traditional Ardbeg, but something completely different. The strong ash and smoke appeal to me very much, but I think this lacks the full body and width/depth. This is a very two-dimensional (bicentennial) product, which is nice to taste but it does not scream for the seconds. Alas, the finish is too short. I am still waiting for the Never-Ending part. This is perhaps one of the biggest disappointments for me, since the long finish lets you enjoy the whisky a much better (and longer) between refills.

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