For Ardbeg Day 2021, the Ultimate Islay Distillery releases a dragon-imparted dram 😉 . I spare you the funny marketing story and recommend you play the game as an online substitution for the fun we used to have at the embassies in a pre-Corona-world. A virtual world and way more can be discovered – stay on the lookout on June 5th. I am looking forward to it.
As a pre-release, the somewhat stronger Committee Edition has been released now (115 Euro). The 46%- version will follow from May 25th on for the same price at embassies, online and in shops. Go get Colin Gordon’s inaugural release.
This scorchy Ardbeg was matured in heavily charred white oak casks (ex-Bourbon). Knowing former expressions, this is a winning formula for me. It just works magic on the peaty spirit, adding a sooty and sweet environment that elevates iodine, tar and BBQ-notes. Let’s see:
Comment: Yes, winner. The charred casks rendered an old-style cokey Ardbeg that takes you right into a rainy pit lane on a racing track: tarry tires, diesel, wet gravel (chalk and flint stones), oil, driver’s leather gloves and what not. We also smell hospital notes like old bandages, antiseptic spray, big iodine, cough pastilles and camphor. Nuuuurrse, please! The third world I get teleported to is a BBQ at the beach with grilled lobsters and herbs, a fish smoker (Arbroath Smokie), olive spread, coal fire, sweet smoke, soot, peat and embers, BBQ-sauce, honey-mustard dip and cocoa nibs for dessert with fine tea. Somehow the Scorch keeps all these together in good integration and harmony. Additionally, there are fired pistols, black liquorice, saddle leather, burnt cake, pepper and chili-flakes, resin, plums, vanilla and oak. Big and bold. On the palate is also appears bigger than usual Ardbegs, more spice, green elements lead in and get burnt away by the big black smoke of heavenly sooty sweetness, aaah. Iodine, peat, all crazy stuff from the nose reverberates here. A powerful, sweet, smoky and harmonic finish ensues this pleasure sip for chimney sweepers. Complexity and joy. Well done, little dragon!