Ardbeg Bourbon Cask (~53%, Warehouse Sample, 2014)

Ardbeg Bourbon Cask (single cask sample)

~ 52-54% ABV / ~10-12 Years Old

Score: 84/100

What they say:

Ardbeg single cask sample, bourbon cask matured provided by Ardbeg Distillery

Ardbeg Distillery and Me

What I say:

Should have paid more attention at school! Too busy being distracted by the beautiful distillery and its surroundings during our whistle-stop tour. To make up for lack of tasting time (though to be fair we were provided with a dram of Uigeadail with lunch plus a dram of Galileo & Blasda after the tour) we were provisioned with 3 bottles of single cask samples all of the same ABV and Age (both of which I am wildly guessing at as I really can’t remember the exact details) however I am very sure they were each matured in either Bourbon, French Oak or Sherry casks; representative of the building blocks of both the Uigeadail [Bourbon + Sherry cask] or Corryvreckan [Bourbon + French Oak cask] expressions. I opted to sample them in the order Bourbon>French Oak>Sherry in an attempt to preserve my palate and expecting increasing influences of the casks used. This is what I thought of the Bourbon cask matured Ardbeg


Very pale light straw gold, highly refractive (Paler than Ardbeg Blasda)


‘High’ or sweet Acetone and estery like nail polish and over-ripe banana, malty and strongly lactic (aroma’s I more associate with Lagavulin but have come to recognize in Ardbeg –  with more malt than lactic [usually!]) vanilla and coconut cream, smoky ash


Peaty, woody oak, malty yeasty marmite, nutmeg and cinnamon spice, brown sugar and toffee sweetness, peanut satay and coconut cream


Long mixture of peat and oak with creamy coconut

Would I buy it:

Sadly not actually for sale, I really enjoyed this Ardbeg cask sample, the only drawback was the peat smoke on the nose had a slightly smoldering ash or dirty ashtray quality (more akin to Caol Ila peaty influence) though the palate and finish were sublime. If anything this sample was like a cask strength version of the ever-popular Ardbeg 10 Year Old expression. A very fine and solid dram with a more reserved mini-monster of peat influence, delicious.

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