Ardbeg Corryvreckan Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
Ardbeg's Corryvreckan replaced the discontinued Airigh Nam Beist.
Tasting note: Dull gold colour with pale straw hue. quite an unusual nose for an Ardbeg. Rich chocolate, vanilla, lemon butter and spice above a smoky salty layer, the only evidence that it's Ardbeg is the end note of terracotta/clay/wet charcoal. With time in the glass, fresh smoky characteristics emerge, but do not dominate. The intense palate is initially rich and creamy, quite heavily peated, rich chocolatey flavours mingle harmoniously with the lemon butter before the unusually overt oak grips dry and the peat explodes - softly! The back palate is dry, firm, overtly oaky, and extremely spicy. Excellent balance at cask strength. Warm, tingly, spicy finish. Lemon, dry cocoa, strong spice and gentle smoke dominate the lengthy aftertaste. Austerely dry by Ardbeg standards but one of their best on record.57.1% Alc./Vol.
n23.5 excellent, thick, not entirely un-penetrable - but close - nascent smoke and a vignette of salty, coastal references save the day; t24.5 amazing; here we have Ardbeg nutshelled. Just so many layers of almost unaccountable personalities with perhaps the citrus leading the way in both tart and sweet form and then the oak, in vanilla form, in close proximity. The peat, almost too dense to be seen on the nose, opens out with a fanfare of phenols. it is slumping-in-the-chair stuff, the enormity of the peat taking on the majesty of Cathedral-esque proportions, the notes reverberating around the hollows and recesses and reaching dizzying heights; such is its confidence, this is a malt which says: 'I know where I'm going...!'; f24 long, outwardly laconic but on further investigation just brimming with complexity. Some brown sugary notes help the barley come up trumps late on but it's the uniquely salty shield to the mocha which sets this apart. Simply brilliant and unique in its effortless enormity...even by Ardbeg standards; b25 as famous writers - including the occasional genius film director (stand up wherever you are my heroes Powell and Pressburger) - appear to be attracted to Corryvreckan, the third most violent whirlpool found in the world and just off Islay, to boot, I selected this as my 1,500th whisky tasted for the historic Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2009. I'm so glad I did because many have told me they thought Blasda ahead of this. To me, it's not even a contest. Currently I have only a sample. Soon I shall have a bottle. I doubt if even the feared whirlpool is this deep and perplexing. 57.1% 5000 bottles
Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009
Powerful, muscular, well-textured, and invigorating. Even within the realm of Ardbeg, this one stands out. The more aggressive notes of coal tar, damp kiln, anise and smoked seaweed are supported by an array of fruit (black raspberry, black cherry, plum), dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, bacon fat, kalamata olive, and warming cinnamon on the finish. Quite stunning!
John Hansell - The Malt Advocate