Ardbeg Supernova: Tasting Notes and Pictures!

Sorry for the delay posting this, folks – you know what it’s like when you come back to work from holiday.  It’s taken me all week just to catch up on my regular TWE stuff.  I’ve been longing to write this blog, though – so here I am on Friday evening staying late to crank this out, when I promised Mrs. F we’d go out for dinner! Don’t say I’m not good to you.

Anyway, At last!  Back after a week’s skiing (no broken bones, thanks for asking - but plenty of aches in the rear end from falling over on it every five minutes).  And what’s this, waiting for me on the desk on my first Monday back?  Why, it’s my Ardbeg Supernova!!  Life is good…

Ardbeg Supernova. You beauty!!

Ardbeg Supernova. You beauty!!

Now, we all know that these are going for crazy money on eBay just at the moment, but one of Tim F’s bottles was always going to be opened immediately, because that’s how we roll here on the TWE Blog.  I’m not saying I won’t be tempted to cash in on my spare bottle in the future if the price goes completely silly and I need the money for a down-payment on a small tropical island.  But, before we get started, please don’t email me offering to buy my other bottle because it’s not for sale in the forseeable future.  Unless, of course, you’re offering a trade for your spare bottle of Bowmore ’64 or something like that.

Ardbeg Supernova Front Label

Ardbeg Supernova Front Label

Right, enough chat – let’s get down to it.

Nose:  Richer and fuller than expected, given the youth of the spirit, which was distilled in 2001 apparently (can’t remember where I read that, so apologies if it’s wrong).  Oily peat, sweet cereals (that’ll be the young spirit), a vague winey note (like aged Viognier), lemon, burnt toast, some wet wool, recently-extinguished bonfire.  Emergent honey, honeysuckle, sweetpea, then becomes maritime with sea air and seaweed, brine, wet stones.  Spices next: clove, cinnamon, pepper.  Some soot and then a cooked fruit character and a faint medicinal edge – bandages from the first aid kit.
Ardbeg Supernova Back Label

Ardbeg Supernova Back Label

Palate:  Er, Massive.  Burning coal embers, roasted cereals, hot ash, Frazzles, fistfuls of black pepper.  Chewy.  Hot.  Concentrated Fisherman’s Friends flavours, then the wet wool / cardboard notes from the nose briefly flailing about in the broiling sea of sooty hot spices.  Use neat with caution.  Overdosing will cause eye-watering and may induce heart-attacks in the frail.  Yet the palate is unctuous and rich and the mouthfeel quite generous.  As the peat-rush slows, sweet notes pop their heads above the parapet and gradually restore a modicum of balance.
Finish:  Now we’re really talking.  The honey, peat and smoke mingle together and linger with some faint salt.  Actually, ‘linger’ is the wrong word.  ‘Take root’ might explain it better.  Warm, an impressive complexity for a malt of this age and likely to be the longest finish this taster experiences this year.
Comment: When you wake up the next morning and you think you might still have some behind your gums, you know you’ve got an epic whisky on your hands.
Right, Sukhinder is shooing me out of the office as he’s got some function to go to.  More photos and a tasting with water next week. Have a nice weekend, folks.
Cheers,
Tim F
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisky Tasting Notes
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