Thanks to John my friend and former boss who introduced me to my first Scotch (a double shot of Johnnie Walker Blue no less!), I have been a big fan since, especially of the single malt tradition. This past weekend, I got together with my friend Terry and we had a taste-off with a trio of Ardbeg single malts in my collectoin. Here are my first ever whisky notes. 🙂
Ardbeg Airidh Nam Beist Limited 1990 Release, 46.0% abv, $100
ANB (who can pronounce Airidh Nam Beist?) has the traditional intense Ardbeg smoke and peat and yet the taste is subtle and sweet, very smooth. It made our otherwise disappointing pizza worth eating. (My first time pairing whisky with food!) If anything, it was too smooth for me. Perhaps my tastes have veered towards the big powerful smoke and peat. Subtlety is hard to find after you’re drunk! 😀 The ANB is an enjoyable Scotch, especially if you light up a cigar and just chill with it. Or maybe read some Sherlock Holmes. I’d think that would be smashing and brilliant!
Ardbeg Uigeadail, 54.2% abv, $70
I fell in love with Ardbeg thanks to the Uigeadail. Its nose and taste are incredibly complex and loooooooong. Take a big sip into your mouth. Let it slowly melt into your tummy like Ron Burgundy would. Breathe, breathe, and breathe some more with your eyes closed. You should be somewhere by the rocky seashore under a gloomy overcast sky possibly drizzling with a light, cold wind yet warmed by the hot bonfire at your feet. The taste is of the ocean, brine and seaweed, some fruits here and there depending on your mood. Of course there is smoke. Lots of smoke. Did I mention smoke? The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!
Ardbeg Corryvreckan, 57.1% abv, $85
Corry is my newest Ardbeg. When I first opened it, it jumped out of the bottle and punched me in the face three times before I knew what had just happened. This is the B.I.G. of Ardbeg, my friend. But at 57% abv, it was also easy to drink (or I have become an alcoholic). The nose is very similar to the Ugi. The taste just as complex. I found lots of seaweed, fruits, and some bitter melon. It is less salty, more sweet than the Ugi but comes with a bit of bitterness like almond or bitter melon at the end. Wow!
Well, I hope you enjoyed my notes. Stay classy, San Diego!