Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky (1000ml)
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Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky (1000ml)

Reduced from $310.00
$269. 99
$3239.88 Dozen
ABV: 46%

The first edition in Ardbeg’s inaugural travel retail series. One litre, 46% NCF.

'Smoketrails' is the name for Ardbeg's new and first-ever collection of single malts exclusively dedicated to the travel market. Launched in late 2022 with annual batches in the pipeline, each edition will be a marriage of Ardbeg aged in American oak with Ardbeg matured in secondary casks sourced from around the world. This is the first edition, employing Manzanilla (dry) Sherry casks from Sanlúcar de Barrameda on Spain’s Atlantic coast. Light and fresh in style, Manzanilla sherries are aged close to the sea and are typically bone dry with a salty tang - well matched to Ardbeg's island profile.

Distillery Manager, Colin Gordon says, “For each Smoketrails release we’ll pack our suitcase and zig zag across the globe in search of new flavour adventures...With a unique batch code on this and future bottlings, we hope Ardbeggians will jump at the chance to get their hands on this delectable, collectable dram when they are on their travels.”

Ardbeg’s Master Distiller, Dr Bill Lumsden adds “In Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition, salty sea spray and deep, nutty notes mingle with pungent aromas of soot, dark chocolate and Brazil nuts. Clouds of pine and fennel fill the senses with notes of saddle soap and aniseed trailing gently behind. All I have to say to anybody who lays their hands on a bottle is… get ready for a smoky blast!” Available at selected airports around the globe, we've sourced a small parcel for Australian devotees who might otherwise miss out. 46% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.

Other reviews... I've just seen that this one is still available in travel retail, for a price that's much lower than in regular shops. They were having dozens at Basel airport just last week, for example. It is a vatting of ex-American oak (Heaven Hill?) and ex-manzanilla casks. I remember some superb ex-fino Ardbeg around Feis 2005, but I'm not sure we've already tried some ex-manzanilla 'beg. But was Dr Bill's idea to add saltiness to saltiness? Let's see, while it's mentioned on the label that it should display some 'saddle soap'… Remember horses are another specialty of Jerez… Colour: straw. Nose: frankly, the territory of an (unsherried, ha) Ardbeg and that of some manzanilla are so close to each other that I'm finding this nose particularly tautological. Fresh walnuts shouting out, green apples and lemons, some chalk, a touch of mustard, sea spray, fresh almonds and chalk, then only a wee touch of mutton suet or something like that. Having said all that and while it's classic Ardbeg in my book, it is not really 'big'. Mouth: perhaps a little too much grittiness, fresh oak at first, making it bitterish (bell pepper, walnut skin), but also loads of salt, as expected. It feels young for sure. Cold ashes, lemon skin, tart cider apples, lemon jellybeans… I find it relatively simple, but Ardbeggy enough. Finish: rather long, still salty. Or, let's say it triggers a lot of saltiness. Walnuts and mustard in the aftertaste. Comments: now, what to do with a litre of this, if you've also got a bottle of the superior Ten in your cabinet? And I'm afraid I couldn't recognise any notes of saddle soap, but that is me. Don't get me wrong, it's some very good Ardbeg that we could quaff with langoustines on the shore of the Guadalquivir, in Sanlucar. 86 points -

Notes from the producers... Nose: Lemon peel. Gentle smoke, not too peaty, more bonfire than medical. Some fruity notes. Taste: Sweet, toffee notes, milk chocolate, then the citric notes from the nose are coming back. Smoke is rather gentle. Finish: Long. Now reconcilable peaty, yet sweet.