Whisky Review: Ardbeg “Kelpie”

Style: Lightly Oaky and Peaty

Nose:
Lemon jam and apricots leading the dance, swiftly followed by a deeper aroma of toasted vanilla bean. Green pine, maritime nicely weaved into it. The peat is on the softer side but it gives a great balancing touch. Sufficiently rich and complex as the elements are nicely integrated with each other, I like it… Finishes with a hint of smoked ham and chocolate eclair.

Palate:
Sweet lemon tart on the first taste, tarry peat and coffee beans arrive unexpectedly early. Fresh apricots drops in alongside with green peppermints and herbs. Youthful spice refluxes with a bitter bite of dark chocolate. Distant coastal waves, it feels the charred oak carries some texture and weight. Vanilla cream to finish, leaving a light bitter tail.

Finish:
Soft lemon honey, dying ashes of bonfire wavering in the salty air. A lick of dry peat resides within the burnt oak. Slight herbal end.

Thoughts:
Starts off with a graceful nose, lovely balancing act going on here. Then it seems the palate is the place to show the impact of the Russian virgin oak – Bitter wood, coffee grounds, plenty of dry touches around, while the sweetness is reduced to give way to other elements. Probably that’s the intention… When I first tasted the Kelpie Committee Release I wondered if the Black Sea oak is uncharred, and the feeling grows stronger after I have tried this. Anyway, regardless of the marketing spin, it is interesting when there is a theme and you cannot resist but start formulating all sorts of theories… I had good whisky fun! 😉

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/distillery]

[46% • 2017 Bottled • Original Bottling • No Age Statement • Non Chill Filtered • Limited Edition]

-Esmond