The Edmonton Scotch Club held an Ardbeg scotch tasting on Saturday, February 3. It was the first time I’d been to an official club event. The last tasting I went to with some of the club members was the Millstone tasting at the Keg ‘n’ Cork (which was great by the way).
For this tasting, we started with the first four whiskies, took a brief intermission, and finished the last four. It was an incredible night and my hat’s off to Travis and the rest of the club for putting on a hell of an event. Notes and a few pics from the night are below.
Nose: Light and sweet, I get caramel and vanilla.
Palate: Soft on your tongue, there’s a subtle smoke amidst some sweetness.
Finish: This one warms as it fades.
Overall: An alright whisky to ease into the night. It leaves me thinking of oatmeal and syrup.
Age: Guaranteed 23 Years Old
Nose: Floral and fragrant with smoke.
Palate: So incredibly smooth. Floral peat with sherry notes, bit of creaminess on the tongue.
Finish: That smoothness carried all the way through the gentle finish.
Overall: You could drink this all night. And that’d be trouble for two reasons: 1. You’d be really drunk and likely horribly hungover the next day; and, 2. You’d be out $800. No kidding, that’s how much this bottle costs. It was great but not “$800 great.”
Kelpie (Committee Release)
Nose: Sweet, smoky, and an iodine-like note. It softens with water and becomes much sweeter.
Palate: It has a really nice mouth feel. It’s sweet and I think of campfire peat. Water brings a nutty note, spice, and a hint of bitterness.
Finish: It warms my chest as it gently fades. Water increases the spiciness of the fade.
Overall: Amazing! The water really ups the game and it’s a very rich whisky.
Dark Cove (Committee Release)
Nose: Musky earth, peat, and sweet.
Palate: Iodine, salty smoke, a hint of sweetness. Very rich with tingles. Adding water does not improve this whisky and I dare say it takes something away.
Finish: Warm with honey as the flavours fade.
Overall: At 55%, it’s smooth and absolutely terrific. The type of Ardbeg I was looking forward to!
SMWS 33.122 (Single Bourbon Cask)
Age: 7 years
Nose: Sweet and salty. Wet wood.
Palate: Hot off the bat. Salty and a hint of burnt rubber.
Finish: Saltiness really picks up in the finish while the smoke lingers.
Overall: This is quite nice. Shows that whisky doesn’t need to be old to be good.
SMWS 33.143 (Single Sherry Cask)
Age: 8 years
Nose: Dark fruit sweetness. Salty and makes me think of the sea.
Palate: Honey and campfire. Bit of a medicinal flavour. With water it heats up and tingles. It’s also a bit oily which is a nice discovery.
Finish: As it fades, the medicinal notes come on stronger.
Overall: A nice little whisky.
Galileo (Committee Release)
Nose: Soft smoke, a wee saltiness, and floral notes.
Palate: Salt and smoke mixed with a hint of sulphur.
Finish: So gentle on the finish. There’s a note that I can’t put my finger on. It’s almost a sweet sulphur but even that doesn’t seem like the right description.
Overall: God, it’s a wonderful whisky. I have a bottle of the public release in my scotch closet and love going back to it. And for the record, it did not go to space.
Supernova (Committee Release)
Nose: The nose on this one is almost jarring. Salt, peat, and… fish?
Palate: Quite spicy. A burst of flavours including salt, a lot of iodine, and earthy notes. It has an oily feel to it on my tongue.
Finish: Oily and iodine lingers as it fades.
Overall: Warm and pleasant but the taste is quite odd. I think it’s the iodine.