Ardbeg

Ardbeg French Oak Cask (~53%, Warehouse Sample, 2014)

Ardbeg French Oak Cask (single cask sample)

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

Score: 93/100

Ardbeg stills

What they say:

The second of our single cask samples from Ardbeg was finished in French Oak. Much debate has raged over the ‘French Oak’ casks used for the part-maturation of Ardbeg Corryvreckan. Are these virgin French Oak casks, are they lightly or heavily toasted, or did they once contain a previous occupant – and if so what? So here is one of said famed French Oak cask matured samples!

Ardbeg plus 2

What I say:

We are very fond of the Ardbeg Corryvreckan here at The Whiskyphiles and quite partial to French oaked or even wine-finished whiskies in general. So what did we think of this single French Oak cask matured Ardbeg sample?

Colour:

Orange gold with hints of ruby  – slight presence of cask char

Nose:

Citrusy lemons, cognac, acetone hint,  toffee, butterscotch, orange curd, peaty and meaty with fresh sea surf

Taste:

Oily and waxy, sweet almonds and marzipan, sea salted caramel toffees, butterscotch cream fudge, salty sea spray, nutty, satay sauce, meaty (umami)

Finish:

Medium long oaky wood and delicate peat ember smoke

Would I buy it:

YES YES YES! Herein is the essence of Corryvreckan in its unaldulterated form. This is truly a thing of beauty. If anything, the Corryvreckan seems to have diluted and added spice, fruit and pepper to the above core whisky, strange considering the additive is bourbon cask finished (unless there is also some not-virgin French oak casks used in the mix?). Of all the whisky we tried on Islay this was quite probably the absolute best – sad that it wasn’t available to purchase as a standard Ardbeg bottling…

2014SCSsilver

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