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Ardbeg 'Supernova'

(55%, OB, NAS, SN2014 Committee Release, 750ml, 2014)
Average Score: 86
Bottle Profile
TypeScotch Single Malts (Disclosed Distilleries)
DistilleryArdbeg
Bottler Official Bottling
Brand NameArdbeg
Bottling NameSupernova
Alcohol By Volume55%
Other DetailsSN2014 Committee Release
Size750ml
Issued2014
Average Score86


Maniac Ratings
Ho-cheng Yao89
Rich Howard83


Tasting Notes
Ho-cheng YaoLight yellow, very peaty, iodine, icy-hot, medical, quite robust and light body, grassy, root, medium short finish. quite lingering. quite easy and should be good with some water. (and ice probably), better than I remember.
Rich Howardafter capping the glass for a few minutes, the nose starts off on tar, wood smoke, hemp rope? underneath all that, the sweetness of burnt marshmallows. this all transitions almost immediately to a full infusion of mezcal but with an undercurrent of wood smoke, almost like a smoky tequila, complete with a hint of fresh lime and a whiff of fresh field grasses. this remains as the dominant aromatic profile. the palate is brisk and strong, with coal tar, ash, charred embers, rope and a handful of cough drop herbs on the finish. water tames the mezcal a bit on the nose, leaving herbal and grassy notes, old cotton denim, fresh cashews and roasted, salted almonds. once again, after a few minutes, the mescal returns to the fore. the palate is even more fiery now, still very herbal, and very ashy and tarry at the same time, with unsweetened dark chocolate and loads of chili pepper, nutmeg and fresh cinnamon throughout. i can find the sweetness in almost any whisky, but i can find little to none here; it is all smoke, tar, wood, spices and herbs. a fairly unforgiving dram, and a bit unbalanced. while firmly in the style of previous releases, it presents much younger, and seems to lack a little depth and substance. this release also owes much too much of its profile to the mezcal character. a good dram, probably a very good dram if you really like your tequila. the nose is better with water, the palate much better without.