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Had an opportunity to try this at a Glenmo/Ardbeg event with brand ambassador Bryan Simpson.
This was a mystery dram on the table that had me puzzled all evening. I have a lot of Ardbeg's in my own collection, but something about this one was different, and not something I had experienced before.
Nose: Extremely creamy - strong notes of real vanilla - not the sharp fake vanilla note that Canadian whisky has. My best description is a lemon curd cheesecake. You could smell all the different parts, including the graham cracker crust.
Palate: The palate was quite different than the nose. There was this incredible aged-cheese funk to it. It was almost like a sports equipment room in terms of sweaty, sour, rubbery, funky. I've never tasted anything like it in whisky before, and it wasn't a bad thing! Notes of fresh fruit and herbs came through as well. The smoke seemed to have completely dissolved.
Finish: Loooooong-lasting finish. Sweet, buttery, great mouth feel.
Overall, a really great bottle, and very unique. I would love to have it in my collection, but at $450CAD after taxes, I don't know that it blew my mind enough to pay that much. Would absolutely pick this up if it was closer to $250.
Ardbeg has been all over the place lately. And they surely have suffered a little backlash from some whisky connoisseurs here and there. One of their recent committee releases is this "Fermutation", a single malt that promises a nice backstory but it certainly makes me skeptic of what i am going to taste.
Basically the story of this whisky goes like this; there was a broken boiler in 2007; as a result, distilling had to suddenly halt while the washbacks were full of fermenting wash, leaving the wash fermenting for 3 long weeks. (Usually it is between 56-72 hours in Ardbeg).
That wash was later distilled and matured for 13 years, and bottled at 49.4%abv. That is how you get Ardbeg Fermutation. But, is it any good?
On the nose, amazing terrible stuff. Noticeable notes of cotton socks, tennis balls, swamp and lemon. Plants, seaweed, sown land and rainforest. You get the idea by now. After a first sip, it became super yeasty. It smells like craft beer, bread and some maritime notes. Citric forest fruits. Very interesting.
On the palate, starts with plastic, earth, sown land and marshmallow. This is so tasty, but you get the feeling that even if this one is so enjoyable, this can't be good for your body, lol.
Aftertaste can be defined as a "Wimbledon Tennis Final": sweat, grass, tennis balls. It has this sharpie marker note. Feels so artificial, like a factory. Mr Clean chemicals.
Overall, there is no reason for this thing that i have described to you to be any good... and it is not good... it is INCREDIBLE. Everything i have just described just feels amazing in every sip, it is like a whisky adventure. This is exactly what i am looking for in new single malts: something interesting and new. What a glorious dram this has been; it is 10000 times better than both "Ardcores". My score for this marvelous experience is 100 over 100, and i will find another bottle for my home bar.
Un nez beaucoup plus sur le pain que le 10 ans, un peu plus fruité aussi (fruits jaunes), mais possède la même explosion cendrée que le 10 cependant, une signature Ardbeg évidente, avec un retour du levain en fin de bouche. Belle comparaison avec le 10 ans fermenté beaucoup moins longtemps mais plus raffiné.
The Nose I find amazing. Floral, bright, with sea water, citrus, and very light peat. Taste of Ardbeg with confusing notes, a little sour, sea water reminding me of Ardbeg Kelpie. Finish dissipates into a salty sour with light peat. Well worth the unique experience, but not enough for me to seek another bottle.