from Whiskyfun March 28, 2017
Ardbeg ‘Kelpie’ (51.7%, OB, Committee Release, 2017) As usual, this baby Ardbeg comes with some kind of ‘Celtic legend’, as well as some unlikely wood, in this case some new oak from around the Black Sea. Isn’t it funny that you’d need so many funny stories when you cannot or do not want to disclose the age of your whisky? Is it that young? Colour: straw. Nose: as simple as 1+1, almost elementary, and yet immediately appealing. I’m finding it very pure, very obvious in the best way, with a little lemon and custard, and then an ashy/coastal smokiness mixed with raw malt and, indeed, some kelp. A thin nose, yet a great nose. With water: fresh bread and a gingery smoke. Mouth (neat): very different, there’s perhaps a little too much spicy oak for me in the arrival. A little too much caraway, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves for Ardbeg, at times it feels like some two-year-old American craft whisky, really. Not that it’s bad, quite the opposite, it’s just kind of lost lost a wee chunk of the brand’s DNA, as they say in London. With water: rather better, water brings out more Ardbegness. Finish: better, fresher, lemony, smoky, rather gentle. Very nice spicy grapefruits in the aftertaste, as well as more spicy tannins again. Comments: very good but feels a little young and a wee bit doctored on the palate. The nose was really very nice, especially when unreduced, though. SGP:476 - 86 points.