Category Archives: Ardbeg

It’s not everyday that I get a mention on Islay’s “The Ileach” newspaper…

 

Special thanks to my good friend Andy for pointing this one out to me and sending the pic (as blurry as it is)!

Oh, and in other news, Bruichladdich just sold to Remy Cointreau…

In case you missed my Islay Distillery/Rock Band comparison posts, here is a link to each one:

  1. Part one:Bruichladdich as The Sex Pistols
  2. Part two: Ardbeg as Slayer
  3. Part three: Caol Ila as The 80′s (They get their very own decade!)
  4. Part four:Bowmore as David Bowie
  5. Part five: Kilchoman as the Jackson Five (somewhat fitting, in retrospect, with them both bearing the number five).
  6. Part six: Bunnahabhain as R.E.M.
  7. Part seven: Lagavulin as Led Zeppelin
  8. Part eight: Laphroaig as Iggy Pop

Islay distilleries explained thru Rock and Roll comparisons – Part 2 – Ardbeg & my review of Lord of the Isles

Last week I started my eight part series where I would try and explain Islay Distilleries and their whiskies, specifically to people that are new to whisky, by way of Rock and Roll.  In that post I compared Bruichladdich to the Sex Pistols – true punk rockers of the Scotch whisky world!

Most people seemed to agree (about 95% of all that gave feedback) with my analysis though I did get a suggestion that The Ramones were more fitting or perhaps The Clash.  Whether  the band choice was agreed upon or not, everyone seemed to agree that Punk Rock was the correct Genre.  Huzzah!

Now we move onto comparison number two.  As with my Bruichladdich post from last week, first the whisky review then the Rock Band comparison.

Ardbeg “Lord of the Isles” 25yo – 46%ABV£650 (£542 ex. VAT)

On the nose –  Strong nose with a fair amount of smoke and soot (more so than I expected, what with this being 25 years old; I expected something a touch rounder or, shall I say, softer).

Lemon pledge.

A good deal of green apples (who came up with the name “Granny Smith”?) and spicy thai red curry sauce.

Burning notebook paper; the white lined, 5 subject type notebook.

Oak, smoke, char and cherry syrup.  Interestingly reminiscent of mizunara oak (notes I’d get from a Yamazaki, actually).

Strong, oversteeped tea (green & white).

This nose is all over the place and has an unorganized feel rather than one that gives you a sense of evolution.

On the mouth – Now the roundness kicks in!  Soft, creamy, viscous & soothing but smoke starts to kick in after a few seconds.

Marzipan and lemons.

Then more peat smoke – warming, growing and growing leading up to the finish…

Finish – Mint and menthol, salt and lemons.  Looooong and zesty and slightly numbing after a while.

In sum – This was a odd one, for sure!  The nose seemed to be all over the place, hard to follow yet not unpleasant in anyway.  However, upon tasting the whisky it all comes together, gets buttoned up and starts to make sense.

A lovely, odd, old Islay that’s very different from the Ardbeg style of today.  It’s not my favorite Ardbeg but a nice one none the less.

Special thanks to David B for the 2nd sample (note: whisky does not hold well in baby bottles.  Hence the 2nd sample – thanks again, David)!

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Ardbeg – The Band! — Perhaps the most CULT Islay single malt, Ardbeg has a truly devout following.

I’ve heard stories from the very recent past about people waiting in the rain for 30 hours during the Islay Feis Ile festival just to pay £300 (or so) for the distillery only, Feis Ile festival bottling.  If I had the time and money, I suppose I’d do the same…

Ardbeg tattoos are common place among devotees.  There’s also a well know website by Malt Maniac Tim Puett called the Ardbeg Project that deals with even the most minute of details about Ardbeg… all the way down to various bottle codes.  Talk about devotion!!

Given the above, my initial reaction is that Ardbeg is most like The Grateful Dead.  However, I personally can’t stand The Grateful Dead (sorry people) and their successors, Phish, turn my stomach even more.

Let’s compare it to their house style of whisky… Bright, brash, in your face, lively and invigorating.  Peaty without being a smoke bomb.  Clean and very confident.

So, big cult following +  an attention demanding, big ‘ol elephant in the room style…  You, my dear Ardbeg are Slayer (minus all of the death and devil stuff)!

Yikes!Oh my gosh! —  See, I told you (albeit without gore…)!!


…or perhaps it should read:

..perhaps this comparison is more fo Ardbeg’s fans (myself being one of them) rather than Ardbeg itself….  Hmmm… you decide.

The 2012 Drammy Awards are upon us!!

By way of Doug Stone from forwhiskeylovers.com– the 2012 Drammies:

(Feel free, but not obligated, to nominate this blog (jewishsinglemaltwhiskysociety.com) as the top whisky related website — category # 8 — Cheers!!)

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The 2012 Drammie Awards

Announcing the

2012 Drammie Awards 
Call for Nominations

It’s with great excitement that ForWhiskeyLovers announces the Call For Nominations for the 2012 Drammie Awards.

The mission of the Drammie Awards is to put the power of “recognition” in the hands of the whiskey consumer.

The 2012 competition commences with a nominating process where WhiskeyLovers can submit their own nomination(s) for any number of 15 total award categories.

The fifteen nominating categories are:

1.    Best Whiskey Packaging
2.    Best Whiskey Marketing Campaign
3.    Worst Whiskey Marketing Campaign
4.    Best Whiskey Distillery Tour
5.    Whiskey Innovator of the Year/ Innovative New Whiskey
6.    Best Whiskey Information Source (Blog, Podcast, Magazine/ other)
7.    Best Whiskey Bar
8.    Best New Whiskey Related Product (book, resource, web site, etc)
9.    Whiskey Blender of the Year
10.  Independent Whiskey Bottler of the Year
11.  Whiskey  Distillery of the Year
12.  Most Underrated Whiskey
13.  Best Whiskey Value/ Bang for the Buck
14.  Best New Whiskey of 2012
15.  Best Whiskey of 2012

Nominations will be accepted for three weeks, or until midnight on Friday, March 30th 2012.  You can enter your nominations here.

After nominations are closed, ForWhiskeyLovers will post the top five (5) nominations (those receiving the  most nominating votes) for each category on ForWhiskeyLovers.com, and voting will commence to select the category winners.  Voting will be conducted for another two weeks, until Friday April 13th 2012.

The 2012 Drammie Award Winners will be announced on Monday April 16th.

An interview with Dr. Bill “Billy” Lumsden of Ardbeg and Glenmorangie

A short while back I had the good opportunity to interview one Mr./Dr. Bill Lumsden.  Billy, as his friends call him.  Actually, this interview was about a year and a half in the making.  When I had heard that Glenmorangie & Ardbeg went for OU Kosher certification for the US market, I had it in my head that I should interview Dr. Bill.

Even though this is a blog for ALL whisky lovers (be they people just getting into whisky or whisky veterans), it is called the “Jewish” Single Malt Whisky Society so I imagined that the kosher-keeping Jews who followed our blog would want to know more.

So I reached out to David Blackmore, Global Brand Ambassador for Ardbeg and Glenmorangie, and he vowed to set it up.  Sadly, and for many different reasons, the stars never aligned – until now!

Bill shared some good information with me including some details on the Glenmorangie Private Edition release, the next Ardbeg and what might very well be another few Ardbeg releases in the near future.

A big thanks goes out to David Blackmore for setting this up and another to Dr. Bill (Billy) for being such a great interviewee.  We had a lot of fun!

Enjoy! (a bit of patience, please.  You may have a wait a short bit for the Soundcloud player to load below)

So you’re aware, I missed my train to NYC to meet with David and Bill so we moved the interview from the offices of Moet Hennessey to wonderful restaurant downstairs, Colicchio & Sons (yes, Colicchio as in Tom Colicchio of Top Chef).  That being said, there’s a bit of background noise/music/chatter.

Lastly, the last word in the interview got cut off.  In case you couldn’t tell from the context, Bill’s last word was “Interesting”…