About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Continuing with another SMWS Ardbeg 7yo - this time from a 1st fill sherry butt.

Now, (good) sherry casks are getting even more scarce since the consumption of sherry is hitting an all time low. This means that the cost of a sherry cask, usually a sherry butt (app. 500 liters) is up to 10 times!! more expensive than your average ex-bourbon cask from the US. Quite a difference, eh?

So what about this young Ardbeg? The previous one reviewed here was from a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel and seemed very mature for it age... is it the same with this one as its been in a larger sherry butt with less surface-to-wood contact?

Ardbeg Distillery from the road - October 2008 © The Malt Desk

Ardbeg 2005 33.124 (16.08.2005/xx.10.2012) 7yo, 'An Engineer's lunchbox' 59,7% 1st fill ex-sherry butt, 602 bottles, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Colour is straw

Antiseptic, citrus, medium heavy peat smoke, sooty, smells of fishing harbour, very fresh and vibrant and unmistakingly Ardbeggian - although slightly heavier than normal...

Crisp peat, lovely sweetness, mainly on oranges and lemons, but also a heavier underlying winey notes from the sherry cask. Star anise and sweet licorice. The addition of water makes the wine-note more dominant although never overpowering. With plenty of water, I was thinking Schweppes Ginger ale at one point...

This is not a dram thats swamped in sherry and certainly not by its colour.
This does not mean that the sherry butt hasn't left any influence here, it has - and it's lovely!

I'm thinking this as an alternative to Uigeadail? I'd takes seconds of this anytime...

Excellent young Ardbeg!!


1 comment:

  1. Actually An apothecary’s Den (33.123) is really also worth trying ----- young and 'angry' dram !