Ardbeg Corryvreckan...

Ardbeg Corryvreckan (57.1%): It was exactly eleven years ago today when I posted my very first entry on this blog when I was on Islay packing my bags to leave the island next morning... Eleven years..! Mind boggling... It was a sad night and the end of a beautiful trip but I was kinda feeling the buzz of starting something new. Thanks to everyone who supported and encouraged me since that day for eleven long years and most importantly thanks to everyone who kept reading what I put up here. It's been quite a ride... A pretty damn good one...

I actually don't remember now whether it was right after or just before the official launch of Corryvreckan but I do remember tasting it for the first time during that same trip at the distillery. It was 10AM in the morning and I was in a small tour group with three Italian guys and an English couple. It was a cold, windy but a beautiful sunny late November morning and I was like: "That's it... I found my whisky..! Corryvreckan it is..!". Of course in eleven years I did have many other favorites and my go to whisky kept changing almost every year but Corryvreckan stayed as my favorite expression in Ardbeg's permanent line-up till today. So, long story short I happened to have an unopened bottle of Corryvreckan at home today and couldn't think of a better whisky to uncork and celebrate tire-bouchon's 11th year anniversary with... Here it is:

Color: Deep yellow/red gold, white Port color with a ring of thick and persistent teardrops around the glass eventually starting to turn into lazy and oily legs. 

Nose: Raisins soaked in rum, olive brine and unsalted butter. Bonfire on the beach, wet sand and ocean spray. Vintage leather belts, seaweed and nutmeg. Adding a few drops of water now: Uncooked bacon, water moss and rubber garden hose. Mineral water, red and green plums and red currants. Plastic food containers and fake leather jacket.

Palate: Tar, damp soot and cigarette ash. Espresso beans, cinnamon and fennel fronds. Olives, fresh thyme leaves and peaty new make. After a couple drops water: Sweeter now... Wildflowers honey, butter and metal flask. Tree bark, wild mushrooms and forest floor. Rosemary, bay leaf and cumin seeds. 

Finish: Long and drying... Peaty for sure but also nutmeg, dry oak and allspice. White pepper...

Overall: You probably heard about the never ending conflict between Corry and Oogie (Uigeadail) fans before... There are tons of daily discussions, polls, etc. online about this. Well, for what it is worth I am and have always been in the Corry team... It's punchy, meaty, herbal and spicy. I also have a feeling that the batches got a little younger since it was first released which makes the whisky even more attractive for me. I love young Ardbegs... What can I say..? It's a classic expression and has been a staple in my whisky cabinet for a long time and will definitely stay so. Again thanks for reading and thanks for the past eleven years..!

Price: $75

Ardbeg Distillery // Morning of November 27th, 2009


Anonymous said…
I had always preferred Corryvreckan over Oogie until the last Corryvreckan batch. Something quite unusual: Pour a shot, add 5 or so drops of water; it turns to sea water, and sawdust. Not even drinkable. Unless I know the fact that the latest batch is different, I'll wait a bit. Try it.
Interesting... I always add a few drops of water when drinking Corryvreckan but will definitely try again tonight.
Anonymous said…
Follow up: Did you try with water? Maybe latest batch you have is better. Mine was from 2017 and all it took was several drops to change into sea brine + saw dust.
Well, I did... Again I didn't experience a huge frustration like you did. Having said that the whisky is far less memorable compared to its earlier batches from 2009 and early 2010s. Definitely getting younger and less impressive for what it is worth.