May 17, 2015

Ardbeg Supernova (2010 release)...

Ardbeg Supernova (2010 release) (60.1%): Yeah, I know... I am awfully late with these Supernova releases. I reviewed the 2009 release only a year ago and I will try to deal with the 2010 release tonight. Although I still have a decent amount of whisky left in my 2009 bottle this one is only a sample I managed to save from our peaty whiskies tasting earlier this year. I still enjoy my 2009 Supernova very much, I like how young, grassy and restless it is and cannot wait to see how it compares to the 2010 edition. Ok, now it's time to take a deep breath and dive right in. Let's see how hard this monster can punch in my face. Color: Pale straw. Nose: Dry red clay, decaying grass and kumquat. Engine oil, hot paprika and a little bit of tequila reposado. Lime, tonic water and olive brine. Where are the peat punches I was getting ready for? With water it gets perfumy and floral: rose petals, hyacinths and gin. Speaking of devil; peat is driving the bus now. Intense bonfire, charcoal and hot cigar ash... Oh, boy... Palate: It's peaty indeed... Grassy, young and sweet but damn peaty. It's mute without water first. Chipotle, tar, soot and new make. It definitely taste like new spirit running through the spirits safe. My tongue is kinda numb... With water it gets green and grassy: green asparagus, rocket leaves, anise crackers and pine nuts. Herbal bitters, lavender and more gin. Finish:  Long fade out with dried sour cherries, unsweetened cranberries, dried malt and more ash. Overall: Well, it was the Tasmanian Devil itself... It came with a dust devil and left with a dust devil. It's still young (might be even younger in average than the 2009 release in spite of older malts in the vat), punchy, intense and quite yummy. I have to admit here that I like the 2009 release slightly better but maybe only because I am more forgiving of very young malts for a first release. I expected that this one would be a little more mature and more layered but instead I believe Dr. Bill Lumsden had to use even younger whiskies to create a second batch that soon and large enough to satisfy the hunger of Ardbeg's marketing department. No wonder why they took a break till 2014 to release the third batch. If you are peat freak and/or want to experience a unique and intense peat ride here is your once in a lifetime chance: Take a seat and fasten your seat belts. But only if you can find a sample from a friend... Otherwise I wouldn't recommend to pay those crazy price tags collectors are asking nowadays for a bottle of Supernova. Thanks to Dave Russo for allowing me to fill a wee sample from his bottle...

Ardbeg Distillery // November 2009