Its all been Ardbeg this week and a fitting end is the arrival of the Ardbeg Day release which is available online in the UK. This is the dram that was served up across the world to celebrate the distillery and the Edinburgh Islay-limpic Peat-athlon games. I’ve described what I can remember during the event regarding this fearsome malt; Ardbeg with a twist and a distinctive colour in the glass.
Here’s the blurb from the back:
‘As the Ardbeg Committee well knows, there’s nothing better than an Ardbeggian ‘get together’. Whether it’s a knees-up here on Islay or a shindig with fellow members on home turf, it’s the perfect excuse to bond over the peaty complexity of the Ultimate Islay Malt. So welcome to our inagural Ardbeg Day bottling! Wherever you are in the world, we hop you’ll enjoy with us to test your peaty noses on our latest Committee release.
Speaking of getting together, Ardbeg Day is a spectacular fusion of two different styles of Ardbeg; the first being sweet and spicy (vanilla fudge, chocolate limes, cloves, aniseed balls); the second a powerful, deep, botanical Ardbeg. When brought together for six months in re-fill sherry butts, they have combined beautifully: the soft with the strong, the sweet with the dry, all leading to a sensational balance of sweetness and smoke. So let’s release the peat…. together!’
Booklet tasting notes (as these are just great):
Colour: Deep gold
Peaty nose: a burst of smoky, mint toffee slights the senses, which then detect hints of banana, apple, dark chocolate, leather and cinnamon. As the bouquet opens up, some classic Ardbeg notes emerge, notably oily crushed peat and the tinniest hint of lime juice. Add water and more intense aromas are encountered, menthol and peppermint, roasted coffee and smoked almonds along with some earthy, smoked fruits.
Taste: A chewy and warming mouthfeel is followed by a plunge into robust, peaty, familiar Ardbeg flavours: soot, coal tar soap, aniseed, leather and some distant herbal notes. The mood is then lightened with a suggestion of sweet, magic-cured bacon, creamy coffee, salted cashew nuts, and an elusive hint of delicate, tangy citrus, not easy to find, but there nevertheless.
Finish: Long and curiously gentle… some soft, creamy vanilla, milk chocolate and a suggestion of the malty, biscuit-like, barley base.