Whisky Review: Ardbeg “Kelpie” Special Committee Only Edition

 

Style: Smoky and Peaty

Nose:

Sooty peat teams up with fragrant wood spices on the nose. A deep wave of dry punchy spices rushing in together with brushes of sardines, minerals and seaweed. Gradually chocolate and subtle lemon sponge cake approaches with a peppermint kiss. Rather dry and spicy aroma, especially at this strength.

Palate:

The sweetness comes forth and thrives on the palate. Tight spices. A lovely blend of milk and dark chocolate to give a bitter-sweet opening. A hint of lemon drop, vanilla cream cake is charred on the surface. Oily peat smoke rises and wraps around with a gentle but determined grip. The spirit remains composed and calm under the gentle sea tide. Lemon and peach tarts rise gently towards the back, peat going slightly herbal and finishes with a touch of toasted oak.

Finish:

Composed finish, medicinal peat and vanilla ice-cream melting quietly on barley sugar. Tarry notes sink to the bottom giving out a lasting smoky whisper.

Thoughts:

We have a maritime theme this year and Kelpie drags us to the drier side to highlight the sea breeze, oak and peat smoke influence of the spirit. I think the expression has worked out quite well by shaking things up and tilting the balance. Although some might feel the profile might not be as evident as what the bottle description has suggested, nonetheless, it is another solid offering from Ardbeg.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

[51.7% • 2017 • Original Bottling • Limited Release • Non Chill Filtered • No Age Statement]

-Esmond