Ardbeg Drum (2019 Committee Release)

Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

Tasted October 25, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Was drum the point where Ardbeg jumped the shark? Was the CR even better than the standard? Lets find out. Double review will be posted to both. Drum CR vs Standard. Nose - On the CR Bannans, oak, light smoke, candied cigars (I get this almost always on peated whisky but especially ardbeg). I'm getting a bit of really young but used barrel oak notes. OK I'm getting similar notes here, but I'm getting more cigarettes. I'm getting more of a fire cooked fruit. Yeah the CR is more vanilla/bannana and the non CR has way more going on. Taste - CR - I do get the pineapple, the bannans, oak, vanilla, powdered sugar, light smoke, a bit of brine but not much. It's complex, it transitions, it does come off a bit young, but a lot of people want that on peat and actually it's really lacking the ardbeg peat punch. The non CR is more subtle, clearly watered down, but I get more from it. Most importantly I'm getting just a lot more peat more Ardbeg. Yeah there's more brine, more smoke and all those things I want in an islay and they really make themselves noticed on the finish. Well put some water in the CR! Nose on the CR does change a bit, but it's still not as complex as the non CR. It's more burnt vanilla forward. Taste - water here makes the CR drink younger with more harshness and more of that banana and youthful oak. It does extend the finish and gives me more of an ardbeg profile of smoke. The non CR has more of what I think of as Iodine (but to be honest I've only known that flavor through whisky discussions so grain of salt on that please). Overall - they're the same score for me, but the non CR has a better nose and taste. The mouth feel however on the CS CR makes up for both short comings. Are these good whiskies? They're ok. 2.0 and frankly they'll be a weird one to discuss. MSRP at some stores near me were the same for each. A few even sold the CR for less when it came out than the non CR. Legit know a store that did 120 for CR and 130 for non CR. So this is the review for the CR. If you're like me and mouthfeel is HUGE, I think I might at the end of the day pick this one up, and full disclosure when I first had these two, I was 100% sure I'd say the non CR was better. I still think from an intrinsic whisky review standard it is better and I'm confused as to why. Does Ardbeg have better water than I do?
119.99 USD per Bottle