Review: Ardbeg Supernova 2015 Committee Release
Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky
Origin: Ardbeg Distillery
Bottling: Luis Vuitton Moet Hennessy
Cost: £124.99 from Ardbeg
What they say:
Ardbeg, in case you didn’t know, sent some maturing spirit into space. Or, more accurately, tubes of “Ardbeg-crafted molecules” that also contained sticks of charred oak. The idea was to compare their interactions to those of control samples on earth and the results have now been published.
To celebrate the conclusion of Ardbeg’s experiment in space, they released this final Committee release of the super-duper-peated Supernova single malt. At 100PPM (phenolic content measured in parts per million) compared to Ardbeg’s usual 55PPM, this is one of the most heavily-peated whiskies in the world!
Shimmering pale gold.
A shower of peppery, aromatic herbs shoots through the air, scattering particles of effervescent perfume. In its wake, smoked fruits, briny seaweed and fennel. The sensation comes full circle with the earthy, grounding aroma of vetiver root. Add a few drops of water and luscious linseed oil comes to the surface, sending wafts of sweet smoked toffee, brazil nuts and soot into the atmosphere.
At 100ppm, the peat is firing on all cylinders, with blasts of spice, salted caramel and billowing smoke. And then it’s back to the laboratory, where antiseptic lozenges, medicinal notes and zingy aniseed intermingle with dark tar and intense chilli-spice.
Prepare for a long, lingering, peppery aftertaste that goes on and on and on…
What I say:
The final Supernova released in 2015 by Ardbeg to celebrate their partnership program looking at the effects of micro-gravity on solvent interaction with wood. This final release was peated to 100ppm phenolics (barley – presumably), almost double the standard Ardbeg peating level.
Dull antique gold (7/20) oily and viscous with numerous medium-thick legs
Peaty and lactic/milky, milk, cream, ashen peat, cigarette smoke, jelly beans mixed fruity flavour, spiced ginger and cinnamon, wholewheat bread, putty/linseed oil, meaty, almost vegetal or mossy peat, briny, oak wood, oilskin rags, ozone, engine oil and shellfish
Creamy vanilla initially, bbq beef, peat, oak wood, open fires/bonfire, slightly peppery spice, mouth-coating and viscous on the palate, nutmeg, spices, tropical pineapple, banana and coconut, ginger, fish sauce (Nam Pla), more jelly beans or jelly tots sweeties
Long, peaty smoke, stretched elastic bands, drying and caustic, sweet and leathery
Considering the peating level this is actually quite easy-going,redolent of vanilla milkshake in the beginning then explodes into all sorts of flavours as the peat and phenolics hit the palate, long, sweet zesty peat and shellfish stand out making this unmistakably Ardbeg.
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