Ardbeg Traigh Bhan
Ardbeg 19yo Traigh Bhan 46.2%
Ardbeg has been releasing quite a few age statement whiskies recently. The 23, then 21, then 22, a new 5yo vee beastie. The Traigh bhan was released last year. It took many by surprise. A 19yo from Ardbeg really does especially priced below £200. The box says its matured in bourbon hogshead and oloroso sherry cask.
Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Brilliant. Initially it was peak & oak. But aftee 15-20 mts it was superb. Opened up wonderfully. Tar, vanilla, sweetness from the sherry cask, citrus notes, fennel seeds, the quintessential Ardbeg smokiness but not overpowering, dry coconut powder, some plantain chips.
Palate: Sweet. Saltiness with layers of peat. Silky and not burning. A bit flat. Cardamom. Moist leather. Minty. Some fruitiness. Tropical fruits but may be too dry. Golden pears & pineapple I would say. Age reflects. Lot of silkiness. Chilli. Definite influence of the sherry cask with flamed orange peels. No prickliness. Not mouth coating but more delicate, a bit thin and subtle.
Finish: Dry. Subtle bitter oakiness follows an initial sweet punch. Medium finish. A chocolatey taste appears and disappears.
Well, I really loved this. Definitely will get 1-2 more bottles to keep it as a staple whisky. I am happy there is a 19yo Ardbeg rather than a situation where there is none. It sort of elevates to a level above their core range which has a stellar line up; so the comparison and price parity arguments wont dry up soon. I loved the delicate, soft subtleness with that Ardbeg peat.