Ardbeg TEN L7 46%

It’s Ardbeg Day today. Ardbeg Perpeteuum is being launched it honour of the day, but since I’ve already published tasting notes for that, I had to find something else. So here’s a ten year old bottled in 2007 (which is what L7 means, in case you want to check the batch number markings on your Ardbeg bottle).


Nose: Slate and bonfire. Dry leather. Over ripe banana. Sand. Water brings out yeast and maritime smokiness.

Palate: Bonfire, salty water and seashore. Something fruity behind it all. With water the fruit turns to unripe bananas.

Comments: The classic, and very, very good. 2007 is “old” Ardbeg. I need to get my hands on a recent ten years old to compare.

Audny Series 3 4 years Cask 1000 46%

audny3Nose: Menthol and Knott (a sort of sweet with mint and liquorice flavours). Vanilla and malt, and green wood. More (sharp) herbs with water, but water also brings out the (very) young character of the whisky.

Palate: Young malt spirit. Congeners and malt. Some menthol and something pussy willowish. A little more bitterness with water, vanilla bitterness and dry oak. With even more water I get black tea.

Comments: Too young. Since I actually kind of like newmake that doesn’t necessarily scare me off, but as “whisky” this is too unfinished even for me. But it’s fun to keep an eye on the progress of the Norwegian distilleries, and I’m kicking myself for failing to purchase a bottle of Audny Series 2.

I poured a dram of the Series 1 to compare them, and can report that it has developed somewhat in a half-full bottle. The nose is now more toffeeish, and has improved, I think, whereas the palate is sharper and immediately somewhat unpleasant.

Ardbeg Perpetuum 47.4%

Ardbeg celebrates 200 years this year, and naturally there are some new releases involved. The first was called Arbeg Perpetuum at 49.2%, available at the distillery only (Thomas has tasting notes for that one over at Whisky Saga). To celebrate Ardbeg Day, another version, also called Perpetuum, is being released. It was made available from the Ardbeg web shop on the 4th of May to Committee Members only, but the committee is no longer a small, select group, and the web shop crashed. A lot of people decided to wait for world wide release, to happen on Ardbeg Day, 30th May. But in Norway we have the Vinmonopol, and they operate on their own schedule, with no nods to *cough*hyped*cough* Scottish distilleries, so that the Ardbeg Perpetuum that became available to order on the May release last week (8 May) is the Ardbeg Day version at 47.4%. I got mine today, and naturally had to try it at once.


Nose: Warm, peaty smoke, grilled banana, grilled apples, vanilla, some dusty malt. The smoke aqcuires a colder note with water, and I get wool dust and wellies. And “pulverpadder” (a sweet very like tyrkisk pepper, but with a dusty coating).

Palate: Concrete dust, peaty smoke, vanilla ice cream and black pepper. The finish is bitter, dark chocolate. With water I get slate and cold smoke, something fruity in the background and still vanilla ice cream.

Comments: Moreish. I am an Ardbeg-fan, still, even if the prices are getting more than somewhat ridiculous (even with this one, almost 1000 NOK for a NAS? That’s stretching it, if you ask me). But even so I am pleasantly surprised. I like Perpetuum better than I have liked most recent new releases from Ardbeg, partly because it’s more complex than the  run of the mill “heavily peated NAS” (even Ardbeg’s own). Worth the price? Well, I don’t think I’m going to stock up, but I am pretty pleased with the purchase.

Tullamore Dew Phoenix 55%

tullamore_phoenixNose: Candied oranges, milk chocolate, oak, slight acetone. With water lightly perfumed wood, cedar, peraps. (Bitter) almonds.

Palate: Orange marmalade, cinnamon, oak. WIth water it turns somewhat sharper and aquires black pepper and a little honey.

Comments: Quite a pleasant thing. Session whisky, really. Not a ten out of ten, but at just under 500 SEK at Systembolaget it’s definitely a winner for cosy evenings at the cabin or sociable evenings with non-whiskynerd friends.

Imperial 1976 35 years Old Malt Cask 50%

Matured in a refill butt, bottled 2011, DL Ref 7431.

I’m expecting to find this too oaky, considering its age, so let’s see if that’s a self-fulfilling prophesy or not.

imperialsNose: Vanilla and orange peel, malt and melon. With water oak and bitter, dark chocolate. After some time in the glass it develops more fruitiness and I am put in mind of Jucy Fruit chewing gum.

Palate: Tobacco smoke, oak, cinnamon bark. More bitter with water, still with a rather strange smokiness. The bitterness disappears after some time in the glass, but is replaced by something plastic-ish.

Comments: An odd thing. Not too oaky in the way I expected, at least, but still not entirely pleasant.

Thanks to StianT for the sample.