Wednesday 15 June 2022

Ardbeg Day 2022 - Ardbeg Ardcore [Tasted #577]

If there's annual whisky event we never fail to cover on TimeforWhisky, it's ArdbegDay! The annual event sees Ardbeg Committee members over the world celebrate all things Ardbeg, whilst enjoying one of Dr Bill Lumsden's latest creations created specifically for the celebration.

This year the creation is "Ardcore", a punked-up take on Ardbeg (harkening back to the 1970's alleged "hotbed of anti-establishmentarianism" in Islay), described as "like biting on a spiky ball". Not exactly a tasting note which immediately makes me want to dive in, but I'll admit I was intrigued.

Continuing 2021's trend, Hong Kong again held an actual event this year, and whilst recent events haven't quite been on the scale of 2014's epic Sydney tasting for "Auriverdes", it was fantastic to again be able to celebrate Ardbeg in person with other Committee members.

Held at Wan Chai's TMK (a suitable venue if ever there was one), Committee members came together to taste a lineup led by local brand ambassador Leo Jockovic, including:
...preceded by a Wee Beastie Highball, and paired with a menu of TMK's delicious sushi.

I love getting the opportunity to taste an entire range side by side - particularly as it gives me the opportunity to see how bottlings (and/or my own taste) have evolved. For example while Uigeadail has always been a favourite, during this taste I had the Corry slightly ahead in terms of score.

Of course, it was the Ardcore I was most interested in though, so on that note...

Adbeg "Ardcore" (Ardeg Day 2022) (46% ABV, NAS, Islay, $2198HKD in a pack with Wee Beastie$235AUD£87.46)
Colour: Pale, light straw.

Nose: Citrus-infused peat, then a slight bittersweet choc note. Grapefruit, followed by some oak.

Palate: Sweet toffee initially, followed by some dark chocolate. There's an underlying herbal note I also got on the 10 (almost a slight grassiness), but it's subtle - the sweeter notes dominate.

Finish: Smoked herbal lonzenges with wafts of BBQ smoke.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 88/100. Not quite what I was expecting (for me, not exactly "biting on a spiky ball", but a relatively straight-forward, enjoyable dram. Given the choice though, I'd choose the Ten.

Think this sort of event is something you'd want to take part in? This year Ardbeg held many events like this, with Ardbeg Committee members getting the opportunity to attend. Make sure you sign up here for your chance next time around.


Thanks to MHDHK for the invitation, and the bottle reviewed here.

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