It’s four days before the annual Ardbeg day event. We choose to dedicate the week to some official bottlings and today is the turn of the most controversial Ardbeg ever: Supernova, the 2010 limited edition, the peatiest ever with more than 100 ppm.
N: the prohibitive abv shuts down the aromas and gives off notes of acetone. After the first hard impact, the profile is clearly Ardbeg style, quite similar to The Ten, actually. There are pronounced notes of lemon, rather chemical, and an overwhelming peat, surely stronger comparing to The Ten. There’s also a sweetness recalling the bourbon maturation (over time, marzipan and vanilla increase). Harshly petrochemical, with burnt tires. The iodine sensation is lively and evident. The water’s addiction – which we craved –, doesn’t change the whisky’s profile. It increases the burnt plastic sensation and the general peatiness, at most.
P: at cask strength, the range of flavors is the same, compared to the nose and to The Ten. What really change are the proportions: here the peat becomes dominant. The attack is focused on a sugary sweetness (icing sugar), made extremely intense but too simple by the huge abv. Later, a peat explosion spreading smoke, petroleum, burn plastic, sea water. Only a lemony veil survives. With water, the intensity doesn’t decrease, a faint vanilla note opens up and everything becomes incredibly more earthy and peaty.
F: only a hint of vanilla, fastly disappearing under a huge blanket of smog, ash and tar. It’s like biting a piece of burnt peat.
We expected an extreme whisky and this is exactly what we experienced. Even if we must say it’s a blunt product, almost borderline. Peat lovers will never give up, even if they’ll be forced to sip malts disturbing as serial killers. So they will love this whisky. We are not crazy about it, mainly because we think the peaty side is not always well integrated and rather bully. Anyway, we recommend a taste of it: 85/100.
Recommended soundtrack: a brave tribute to the most genuine rudeness, Special K – Tutta la notte (Coca&Mignotte Mix)