Ardbeg prides itself on being the ‘Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky’. Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by connoisseurs around the world as the peatiest, smokiest and most complex of all the Islay malts widely available. Despite its smokiness, Ardbeg is renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’.
Ardbeg is set to release 19-year-old single malt Traigh Bhan, its first permanent age-stated whisky to be released in nearly 20 years. Named after Islay’s Traigh Bhan beach, known locally as the Singing Sands, the whisky will be available in limited batches produced on an annual basis.
The whisky’s recipe is set to change with each batch, creating ‘subtle differences’ between future iterations. Each batch of Ardbeg Traigh Bhan will feature a unique code on the carton and bottle, which drinkers can enter into the distillery’s website to find out more about the ‘story’ of the whisky.
They hope that, by slightly tweaking the batch recipe year-on-year, Ardbeggians can have some fun exploring the finer details of this ever-changing dram. Matured in American oak and ex-Oloroso Sherry casks.
ABV: 46.3%. Color: Brilliant gold.
Gentle ripples of smoky pineapple, soured cream and wood smoke make for an irresistible nose. Newly planed oak and supple dark leather sing to your soul as sweet toffee and liquorice draw you in. A splash of water releases a surge of unexpected notes. Struck flint, herbal pine resin and coal tar effervesce towards citrusy lime sherbet and subtle, yet sweet vanilla cheesecake.
The peaty power of this alluring spirit is undeniable, as it plunges your palate into its smoky depths. An intensely salty mouthfeel drifts into sweet and sour notes of smoked chili chocolate and paprika. Waves of toasted oak and roasted tea leaves emerge, before subsiding to reveal fresh peppermint fondant and salted white chocolate. Intense and rugged notes of ‘smoked Chilli, chocolate and paprika’ with ‘waves of toasted oak and roasted tea leaves.
Firm but gentle, soothing wood smoke carries into a length, lingering finish – resonating far beyond the glass. 3-4 minutes adds whiffs of vapo-rub, wet campfire, brine, dried herbs and mineral.
Balance, Body & Feel
Oily on entry leading into a dryish, concentrated delivery; Cool mint, lime peel, mesquite smoke, cocoa and white pepper flavors lead before the aftertaste turns sooty, salty, mildly tannic and drying.