19 Jul
Heiko reviews one of his favorite Islay single malt scotches

Heiko is from Germany with a specialized field in Whisky. After finishing his apprenticeship as a fully trained hotel clerk he began work as a barkeeper in the 5-Star Hotel A-Rosa on the beautiful island of Sylt. He discovered the passion for whisky a few years ago and since then his life is full of usige beatha — that’s Gaelic for “water of life”. In February 2012 Heiko was appointed as the 72nd Malt Ambassador of Campari Germany. It is his intention to bring whisky to all who want to learn more about that holy water. This is his third High Spirits taste test for LIAS, see his first review HERE.

I’ve already had a lot of Whiskys in my glass the past few years, but sometimes there is one I am really excited about. Like this one. Ardbeg Ardbog.

Ardbeg itself is one of the most impressive distilleries in Scotland and on the Isle of Islay. The history of Ardbeg is quiet complex. Established in 1815 they’ve had both good and really bad times. In the mid-nineties the distillery completely closed for nearly one year, and then in 2004 the distillery was sold to multinational conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH). This was the best move so far, cause with all the money from that monolithic company Ardbeg could grow into one of the most important Whiskys in the market. The newest Member of the Ardbeg family is the Ardbog, on 1st June 2013. At this day the distillery initiated the Ardbeg-Day to celebrate their newest child. The Name Ardbog comes from the peatery on Islay, the ‘bogs’.

The Ardbeg Ardbog matured in first refill-Bourbon casks and very rare ex-Manzanilla sherry casks. As usual non-chill-filtered with a cask strength of 52.1% vol.

Things to know:

To know how I love to drink the whisky to get all of its complexity, you have to take a sip and let it stay for more than 60 seconds in your mouth. After you’ve swallowed, breathe out and when you breathe in you will smell notes of the whisky, which you can only smell in the 2-3 seconds after that long period of tasting the spirit. In his case it’s the natural bog. Beautiful! 1 Extra Points!

Nose: 4.8

Spicy, with a tremendous note of caramelized bacon. Some hints of vanilla compared with some dark fruits remaining from the sherry cask. Not really strong, soft and complex, smooth and elegant even with 52.1% vol. After awhile some white pepper jumps into the complexity of this combination. Notes of sea salt compared with fresh meadow.

Taste: 4.8

Wow, what the hell, fresh notes of soft vanilla, with some bitterness of the caramelized bacon, very complex itself. The light dry of the Manazilla sherry cask gives it awesome fresh fruity notes of lemon and a heavy note of fresh sea. The bog stays abroad, but not that much that you won’t feel its big flavors.

Finish: 4.9

Still wow, as you suck the sweet freshness disappears and shows its strength of dry notes compared with sea salt, algae and some hints of heather flower and a nice fresh note of lemon. Elegant, with a really strong and long aftertaste. The peat is strong and stays long in the mouth, breath by breath, more and more.

What a tremendous Whisky they have made there — Jesus holy Christ! This one is not as complex as the Ardbeg Supernova 2009, which is my absolute favorite, but it’s close to being my number one. If you can buy a bottle under $130, buy it, it’s worth every cent. As usual Ardbeg released this one in a Limited release, which means the bottle price will grow more and more.

Price per bottle: at release $90

Price per bottle: At the moment. $170

VALUE: 4.9

Hope you’d enjoyed reading my blog and see ya next time folks



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