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Ardbeg Supernova 1st Release Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 58.9%
The most highly anticipated release of 2009, Ardbeg Supernova, has finally arrived, along with an unusual degree of hype. One can't but help be a little cynical. Is this whisky more the creation of the marketing department than the distilling team? The flashy packaging is matched by this whisky's claim to be the peatiest whisky ever (approx. 100ppm peating). However, on a recent trip to Sydney to meet Dr Bill Lumsden, Head of Distilling and Whisky Creation for Glenmorangie & Ardbeg, our resident whisky enthusiast, Ryan Marshman quizzed Dr Bill, about this upcoming release. Lumsden response was forthright and confident: 'It'll sort out those who were complaining about Blasda!' (For what it's worth, we think Blasda is a top whisky that shines in the right time and place - even if the concept takes a little getting used to).
Given the high (58.9%) alcohol volume and vibrant, explosive flavour profile, and absence of caramel colouring, we can assume the whisky is young, and has been partially matured in ex-sherry oak.
Tasting Notes: Pale gold colour with water like hue, a fraction deeper than the 10 Years Old expression. Without water: Complex, lifted, smoky nose - yet more refined, much more exotic aromatics than you'd expect. Primary aroma of 'meaty' peat smoke, hovering above a generous sprinkling of sweet spices, damp clay, vanilla, a hint of toffee apple and talcum powder. An extraordinary nose that seems to change minute by minute, simply a joy to sniff. The palate entry is thick and luscious, and shows sweet, bright toffee apple, spice and vanilla....... initially. The malt then grips, the palate warms up, delivers a smoky boom! Wave after wave of smoked meat, spice, mint, vanilla and toffee flavours invade the palate, delivered with unprecedented intensity, heat and 'punch' - The force and intensity is virtually undescribable. A colossal flavour profile invades every corner of the mouth like a slow motion explosion. The prickly back palate delivers a minty, eucalypt, mentholic finale, before the exceedingly long, sweet smoky aftertaste, which persists for minutes. With water, 40% approx alc/vol: The smoke takes a backwards step, and allows the nose to show more of the earthy damp clay notes, classic Ardbeg toffee apple and spice. The palate becomes rich, velvety and creamy, almost mouthcoating. A considerably more calm, if deceptive start as the robust 'flavour wave' returns and delivers enormous flavours of vanilla, toffee apple, mint and spice, before the exceptionally long, minty, smoky aftertaste. Dr Lumsden, if it was forgiveness you sought for Blasda, redemption has arrived! Glorious stuff! 58.9% Alc./Vol.