Ardbeg Supernova: Tasting Notes and Pictures!

8 Comments on 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.
Tim F
Posted in Scotch Whisky, Whisky Tasting Notes


Pär Caldenby says:

Why, that was all discreet and nicely balanced, Tim. Could you please H2H it with the Octomore as well, just so that I know I made the wrong decision when I didn’t even bother to try getting the Supernova, having a silly name and all…?

We all know – or at least I do right now, slàinthe! – that a beastly dram on Friday evening tastes so much better than so much else…

/ Pär

(Caol Ila 18 is a good dram. Just so everyone knows.)

Lucas says:

Awesome! Sounds really interesting, can’t wait to try it. Will have to wait until May though as I really don’t fancy splashing out on eBay:P Should be plenty opportunities during the Islay Festival!

Abinash says:

I am just wondering if this blog should be renamed LVMH/Bruichladdich blog. It seems that other distilleries than A, GM and BL don’t get too much attention here.

Kingfisher from Taiwan says:

Just taste this one today. According to Dr. Bill Lumsden, yes, it’s from 2001.

I like it a lot, probably 91~92 points.

From the nosing, not that peaty than I thought. Actually easy with some fresh fruity note. but when you taste it straight, it’s like a bomb exposure in your mouth. And turned to be nice and gentle finish. With some water you’ll pick up more standard Ardbeg malty note.

There should be a commercial release available in May, same batch, but with green label. If you missed the committee one, don’t miss the commercial bottling.

The 1990 ANB would end this year.

Pär Caldenby says:

Abinash, there is a pattern here. Whom are active with new bottlings?

I suspect we might see something like a Springbank Madeira Wood Expression before long…or something completely different.

/ Pär

butephoto says:

Not long now until the general release!

Tim F says:

Probably only a couple of weeks, bgulien

[…] home­o­pa­tiskt måt­tad och spädd dos Ard­beg Super­nova. Uttun­nad med rejäla mäng­der vat­ten en mid­dags­dryck som i sin svaga smak och doft […]

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