Ardbeg Ardcore General Release Single Malt Scotch Whisky with Gift Box
Whisky rules are subverted this year with the first Ardbeg distilled from a ground-breaking black malt barley. The liquid is impacted by this unique distilling innovation, whereas cask maturation was the key innovative element used in previous releases. Spicy, fiery, smoky tastes collide to create a defiant anti-flavor that Dr. Bill describes as “biting a spiky ball.” Black malt is one of the most roasted malts you could get, with kiln temperatures so high it needs to be tightly monitored. If it rises above 480°F, the malt can turn to charcoal and catch fire! So one can truly say it has been roasted to within an inch of its life.
Pale, translucent gold. Spicy, savory and ‘grippy’, with an explosion of savory marmite/yeast, burnt toast and charcoal and chicory (camp coffee) infused coffee grounds. The classic Ardbeg herbal/ fennel top note is present but very much in the background of all the swirling, smoky bonfire and molasses notes. An astonishing, spicy, fiery palate leads into an explosion of rich, powerful flavors – cocoa powder, rich dark chocolate, peanut brittle toffee, smoked lime and a suggestion of soot and bonfire embers. There is lots of licorice/aniseed, along with some altogether sweeter, malty/ biscuit flavors, and a long, lingering treacle toffee aftertaste.
For over 200 years, Ardbeg has been made on the small, remote Scottish Isle of Islay. Some people travel to Ardbeg along the winding road from Port Ellen. Others follow their nose, their destiny or the advice of a good friend.
The Ardbeg Distillery lies on the rugged southern coast of Islay. Extreme conditions from the Atlantic shape Ardbeg’s unique water supply characteristics. Ardbeg’s soft, pure water comes from Loch Uigeadail, up the hill from the distillery. The Loch is the namesake for Ardbeg Uigeadail. By sitting close to the sea, the whisky also receives a certain salty, iodine character while it matures.
“A good gulp of hot Scotch Whisky at bedtime–it’s not very scientific, but it helps!”
Alexander Fleming, Scottish inventor of penicillin, prescribed it as a cure for the common cold. Today Single Malt Scotch Whiskies are prized by enthusiasts and aficionados the world over for their rarity, age and complexity. By definition these must be produced in Scotland from a single distillery and made entirely from malted barley, using a pot still. The appearance, aroma and flavor of a Single Malt Scotch Whisky can vary widely depending on whether it was produced in the Highlands, Lowlands Islands, Speyside, Islay or Campbelltown regions.