The Ardbeg Corryvreckan “takes its name from the famous whirlpool that lies to the north of Islay, where only the bravest souls dare to venture”, but if you are brave enough then a treat awaits you.
The colour of amber; on the nose this very gentle peat smoke, honey, custard creams, waft of smoked fish, lime cordial. (Don’t plunge your nose too far into this – it’s 57.1%, for heaven’s sake.) Each time I take a whiff of this, I find there’s something else going on in the glass.
On the mouth, there are so many layered, intense flavours that just smack you right in the chops. There’s barley and treacle, brine and fire, citrus and pepper, a touch of oak and darkest bitter chocolate. This is mouthwatering stuff. That sweetness mixed with the smoke is so well balanced – in fact, if you want a text book example of a balanced single malt whisky, you need look no further.
Afterwards: a sort of biscuity, meaty, peppery, chilli-infused tang. The alcohol is so intense – cask strength – that the taste lingers for ages, nestling into all those taste-buds.
The second tasting a week or so later wasn’t quite as fine; in between this and the first, I sampled the Ardbeg Uigeadail, which really is breathtakingly good and which I must review soon. (Or perhaps it was the fiery food I consumed earlier.)
That said, the Corryvreckan is a powerful, spicy and wonderfully balanced dram.