|The first two drams: a battle of the tens!|
April's club tasting was an eagerly awaited run through six drams from the classic Islay distillery of Ardbeg. Club chairman Adam, a big fan of the fruity, peaty spirit Ardbeg is known for, was on hand to take us through the line up.
|Airigh Nam Beist|
Onto something else which had been kicking around Adam's collection for a while, the now discontinued Airigh Nam Beist. This 46% was smooth and very long in terms of an aftertaste. A bit of sweetness and a lovely mouthfeel. Just about right in fact. We liked this a lot. We wouldn't pay whatever it's selling now for, but that says more about the secondary whisky market than the quality of this dram. Ardbeg Drum was dram number five. A rum finish, this was a 46% bottling from 2019, with a recommended retail price of just under £100. There was not as much on the nose here, but the palate was quite a hit. Sweetish again but still very peated, the rum didn't quite stand up to the peat if anything.
We finished off with Grooves. A heavy char wine cask finish. We had high hopes for this but, after a strong evening, this was a touch underwhelming. The charring made it taste a little burnt if anything. Fine, but we wouldn't have paid the RRP of £97 for it. A dash of water improved things, though, made it intriguingly creamier.
And so the dram of the night was, to no great surprise, dram number four the Airigh Nam Beist. It got 23 votes from the membership, with the next best only scoring three! Just about the most overwhelming winner in whisky club history.
Thanks to everyone who came along for our latest Zoom tasting and, especially, to Adam for sharing his great knowledge of Ardbeg and - just as importantly - some of the bottles he has collected over the years.