|"Yes, I promise I will call you more. I'm just really busy at work these days ok. OK, love you too."|
Today also happens to be perfectly miserable outside. It's the middle of May and we have an icy drizzle pelting the ground. This is Islay weather. Time for some Ardbeg yes? You see, weather affects mood and mood affects your reactions to pretty much everything. So if you're going to do an Ardbeg day, well, do it on a cold, wet, crappy, rainy and cloudy day. From henceforth we will refer to these grey depressing slabs of despair as "Ardbeg Days" A wee bit of man-made liquid sunshine to counter an undeserved F.U. Mother Nature blessedly bestowed on her mortal offspring.
Let's get mentally prepared shall we? 4 drams today kids; and all Ardbeg.
Just the anticipation alone was enough. I'm a peat addict, admittedly… so when I set up a proper dramming I go all out. I dim the lights. I prep the table with my geeky charts and waters – and depending on mood and/or budget you'll see either Kitchener's finest tap, or Tuscany's mineral gem from the Apennine Mountains (roll eyes here) So let's get to it then:
|Maxwell House ain't got nothin.|
I've said it all here.
Light, like the sun
Intense, bright brine, citrus, cutesy in a femme fatale sort of way. My grandfather's shoe shine box from the 50's (i.e.; mothballs & formaldehyde) Smell of the sea; this is ALL Atlantic.
Everything the nose is, just translate it to your mouth, then add a bag of sea salt and attempt to crush it with your pathetic-weakling man teeth.
Strong. Everything an Islay whisky should be. This Scotch shows the rest of the world what it means to be a whisky.
|Mmmmm, swampy goodness.|
Red, bloody, lone wolf with blood stains on it's woman claws.
Everything the 10 yr old is but with an intense woodsy brine. Christmas combined with play-doh? Peat… duh. Correction: peat x5. Corryvreckan's little brother (we'll get to it). A little less femme fatale than the 10 yr old for some reason.
If you could strap a nuclear fusion impulse drive from STTNG to the lone wolf using nothing but reclaimed leather straps from some steam punk side show, then you would basically have the palette of the Ardbeg Uigeadail in your mouth. Nuff said.
|Scotland's death pool of love. ahhh, the romance of viking stupidity.|
Deeper than the others but still lighter than a Speyside.
Uigeadail's 'older' brother. More mature, subtle and not as desperate to impress, but does anyway (and knows it). No formaldehyde scent like the 'lone wolf' but still a deep sense of impending doom; just more 'at your front door' kinda way.
Chewy. Seriously… chew this scotch. It's a food, not a liquid. The vikings have sowed their seed among many a port, but the Corryvreckan bore the man-fruit of their, ahem, labour.
This particular part of the viking in Ardbeg is from Denmark. Not as long as the Uigeadail. Still it persists, but let's be honest; the Dane's are kind of like teenage boys: all rah-rah with no lasting stamina. (This isn't really a slight) a viking is a viking, but it's just not a Warp 9 kinda viking.
|"BANG, ZOOM! Straight to the moon!"|
Winner of World Whisky Awards Top prize for 2013. This 13yr old special release commemorates Argbeg being the first whisky in space. (Trekkies take note.)
softly goldenly soft.
Lots of reviews mention pineapple… there's a reason for that; it's absolutely true. It softens the creosote volcanic-punch a bit with these heavenly Hawaiian hula girls.
Aged in Marsala casks (Italian) I'm going to put this one in-between the 10 yr old and the Uigeadail for sweetness. The Corryvreckan feels like it has the richer note of the 4 sampled here. Coal fire drizzled with lemon is ever present, as in any Ardbeg so don't fret.
Soft landing. Touch down.
Final Warning Note: You can't drink Ardbeg endlessly. It's a wolf; its nature is to bite and gnash and maul you until you stop kicking. It's the kind of scotch that needs breaks in between pours… unless as previously mentioned... it's mothers day.