Ardbeg Kelpie

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Limited Edition
Virgin Black Sea Oak Casks
Number of bottles
46.0 % Vol.
700 ml 700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
L67016 17001049
Bottled for
Feis Ile 2017
Added on
19 Mar 2017 2:00 pm by holborndrinker

Average value

€ 249.51

63 × in wishlist

588 × member ratings

2981 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ardbeg Kelpie

82 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 84.48 points

  1. kroby did not rate this whisky Expert Junior

    Interview with dr. Bill Lumsden on Ardbeg Day (03.06.2017): "It's a limited edition and we only filled 60,000 bottles."

  2. hs305 scored this whisky 80 points Connoisseur

    [May, 2017]  I had this dram at the distillery during the Feis Ile (served generously by Jackie) and later another one during a Feis Ile tasting at Bonn.

    As I did not like the Kelpie Committee Reserve (KCR - I scored it 81 points) I had no big expectations on this, especially after Mickey stated that this is just a diluted KCR (so no new batch as with Perpetuum, simply the same stuff at a lower abv).  But even these low expectations are not met:  The nose is strangely cheesy (what I did not find in the KCR) besides the herbal aromas (camphor, sage).  The mouthfeel is okay but not impressive.  On the palate the bitter notes are not as powerful as with the KCR but the whole taste is somewhat weakish/flat.  The finish is medium and very sweet but it dries out (paper, cardboardy).

    Yes, this is drinkable - but no, I do not like it and I will not buy any bottle even at a very low price.  This virgin wood from a strange Russian substate in the caucasus region simply does not work for me - and even Dr. Bill Lumsden (the mastermind behind all special Ardbeg releases) must have had some doubts - or why else he diluted the Kelpie casks with an even bigger amount of standard ten years old?  According to my information the mix is 45 per cent caucasian wood casks and 55 per cent standard ten years old...

    PS:  A limited release of 60.000 bottles - could all investors please turn on their brains???
    • Nose
      78 78
    • Taste
      81 81
    • Finish
      79 79

  3. Dieter_W scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Well, what should I say? Here I am with the strong. Nice part no question. Not more but also not less But do you have to make such a hype out of it? Yes ! I think Ardbeg and the fans need that. Hunt and be hunted. No smoky Ardbeg, a sooty sea.
    • Nose
      Phew what a smoke. Somewhat different than the other A. Beg's :) Here's a coal dust. Or, as if someone has lit a charcoal grill. Herbs and flaxseed pull through your nose. But then comes the typical Ardbeg sweetie. Somewhat later ! Like someone and another rubber tire thrown into the charcoal. Some maritime, sea algae, nuts and vanilla come through. Here he is the old man again.
    • Taste
      Jau does not just smell, it also tastes of burned charcoal. Really sooty. Madness The really gives off gas and smoke on the tongue. In the background there is still some wood and bacon strips.
    • Finish
      medium - maybe a bit disappointing I would have expected something more.

  4. Tom na Gruagaich scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    The Kelpie is a massive whisky, with rather extreme flavors from the fresh Black Oak. Something I find extremely successful as an experiment, that is certainly not mass compatible.
    • Nose
      Almost light at the beginning, dry, a bit shy, with a sourish fruitiness, linseed oil, a bit musty, the oak is not directly recognizable, but more associable with the musty sourish. The peat is amazingly discreet, but quite dirty, sooty, menthol and after some time with a sweet tip. Over time, the nose is getting darker, I recognize my raisins, but also fish oil, rustic oak, very heavy. The nose develops.
    • Taste
      When Kelpie equal massive green notes come into the mouth, grass, bitterness, chicory, then bread, baked aromas, malt, oak, soot, peat, dense and only moderately sweet.
    • Finish
      the bitter aromas are quite dominant, the oak shows its hard side, as well as soot, peat, menthol and a hint of citrus.

  5. zaphod155 scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    A, for me not quite typical, delicious Ardbeg. I find it very successful, even if opinions differ greatly. The Committee Release is for me but clearly the better variant of the two sea spirits. The 5% more alcohol makes the flavors stand out more and bring out additional flavors. In addition, the CR was in the issue price even cheaper than the generally available version.
    • Nose
      English breakfast. Baked beans with bacon and fried egg. A smoky note with a sweet touch. That's the smoke, too. The typical Aschenote is missing. After a while comes a strong pinch of sea salt and maritime notes (the kelpies?). In the background hides a light medical tone. Reminds me something about Hansaplast or Leukoplast. Everything is harmonious. The flavors are quite clear, but not really powerful.
    • Taste
      Here comes the ashes. Nice smoky touch. The sweetie comes afterwards. The maritime flavors also come through. Mainly the sea salt. A fairly strong chili sharpness follows and is then replaced by a slight bitterness.
    • Finish
      Relatively long. The bitter note holds, underlaid by his lingering sweetness, which still prevails in the end.

  6. kraeftigen scored this whisky 89 points Expert Junior

    89 points. A very successful Ardbeg. He needs a lot of time in the glass but it pays. Whether the differences to the Core Range are so serious or not, everyone has to decide for themselves. I really liked it and got a nice character from the Schwarzmeereiche (or wherever). I like the normal Kelpie better than the Commi and therefore he gets one point more. Tasty, tasty, Ardbeg. Not no less. Great thing. J.

  7. Issie did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Strong, warm smoke, but later also cold smoke and ash, vanilla, apple, grass, grain, a little cinnamon
    • Taste
      Very sweet apple, some honey, lemon, grapefruit, pepper, ash

  8. the_muskox scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    Wow, I did not expect to like this as much as I did. It’s a no-nonsense peat parade, but it’s complex, creamy, and has that deep savouriness that I really enjoy in Ardbeg. It totally works at 46% too: there’s no heat at all, but certainly no lack of flavour either. It all adds up to a deeply enjoyable dram that I hope to find some more of sometime.

    Nose: Rich, tart peat. Burning birch logs, seawater, wet moss, clayey earth, and dunnage warehouse. There’s some sweetness in the form of charred marshmallow, agave nectar, tart pear, and lime zest. Some unsweetened oat cakes, walnuts, mild fennel, and light pine resin. I kept coming back to a fresh tomato note. Salted plantain chips, and hints of chipotle and fennel.

    Palate: Medium texture. Creamy vanilla and stonefruit right up front, followed swiftly by a peat avalance. Campfire, creosote, iodine, scorched earth, and acrid smoke. Intensely savoury: a smorgasbord of grilled meats. Strong oak, grapefruit pith, toasted (burnt?) nuts, strong black coffee, and extra-dark chocolate.

    Finish: Long, smoky, and savoury. More oat cakes and black coffee. Lingering chipotle, green apple, and lemon.

  9. SingleMaltSamples scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  10. Paedi75 scored this whisky 88 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88


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