Ardbeg Anthology The Harpy's Tale Very Rare 13 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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Ardbeg Anthology The Harpy's Tale Very Rare 13 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)

$250. 00
$3000.00 Dozen
ABV: 46%

The inaugural release in Ardbeg's new series.

Noteworthy as a more affordable Ardbeg and with a proper age statement, the Harpy's Tale is the first whisky in the distillery’s new Anthology collection that focuses on unusual maturation styles. For this edition, it's a smoky-sweet hybrid marrying single malts matured in Sauternes wine casks with Ardbeg aged in x-bourbon wood. Sauternes casks are not common on Islay, though they have been used by Kilchoman and Bunnahabhain, amongst others. Dr. Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, said, “We have embarked on a bold maturation experiment to fuse Ardbeg’s signature smokiness with more nuanced, sweeter notes for our new release... This is a dram that represents a battle between sweet and smoke – one I believe fans are yet to experience in an Ardbeg dram, and one that I’m sure they will be excited to taste for themselves. Collectively, the whiskies in the Anthology Collection will form a legendary, perfectly balanced and delicious series of rare and unusual Ardbegs, rich in both lore and taste. We look forward to revealing more in the Collection in the near future.”

The naming pays homage to the mixing of styles; in Greek and Roman mythology a harpy is half-human, half-bird. Ardbeg's marketing team have done another nice job extending the theme to the packaging with a striking design. 46% Alc./Vol. Non-chill filtered.

Other reviews... With The Harpy’s Tale, Ardbeg has crafted another winner, though — huge caveat — fans of heavier, peat-forward Ardbeg whiskies will not likely be pleased. The nose isn’t immediately distinct, offering a fairly traditional chimney soot profile with quite a slug of camphor in the mix. While lightly minty, with some barrel char notes showing, there’s no evidence of the Sauternes cask on the nose, which is a slight letdown. That changes on the palate. Here, the whisky immediately showcases a much softer side, with notes of green table grapes, coconut water, and lemon curd — all informed by a rather gentle layer of smoke. Notes of grapefruit peel lead into an increasingly bright finish that evokes the honeyed, apricot-laced quality endemic to Sauternes. Mildly sweet but not overblown, there’s a suggestion of chocolate and even a touch of coffee bean on the finish, making for a complex but completely effusive and enjoyable experience. Definitely a whisky I’d love to explore in more depth. -

"On the nose, find earthy smoke, brine, salt spray, and iodine, backed by toffee chews. The palate moves into a sweeter and fruitier direction, with dark chocolate covered raspberries, strawberry Jolly Ranchers, honey, and treacle. The finish is short, and offers molasses, furniture polish, peppermint, peat, prunes, allspice, and oak." 89 points -

Notes from the producers... Smoked lemon peel soars alongside balsamic vinegar, before fresh apricots roll and bank into notes of tarry rope. First imagined only as a flight of fantasy, this is a spirit that achieves the ultimate equilibrium between sweetness and smoke. A rare beast Ardbeg indeed…