Ardbeg – Corryvreckan | 57.1% abv (114.2 Proof), $69.99/bottle (Here)
Color/Appearance: A couple of notches below amber. Non chill filtered and no color additives, wonderful. Nice bottle, name and story to go with it. You can call it marketing but really highlighting this natural phenomenon and legend teaches you something about Scotland. May be marketing but doesn’t it make you feel that much more connected with this rugged and historical place?
Nose: Tangerines, smoke, peat, earth, fresh tar, wet logs in the forest. You know right away that you are in for a treat here.
Palate: An interesting astringency that hits the mouth with its power and dryness somehow tightening things up while allowing a cascade of flavors to dazzle your tongue. This is a really really flavorful whisky. Mind bogglingly delicious. I guess I just love peat but I think the French oak treatment augments the peat in a way that sherry casks do not. Mind you, I do love sherry cask deliciousness but this may more clearly allow the raw earth and coastal salt to come through. The flavors of this whisky make no apologies. No punches are pulled here. That is exactly what I love about this Ardbeg but it is also what may also turn off those are not so inclined. Though bear in mind that well integrated into this peaty vortex are some seriously juicy flavors. This is why it is so great. One dimensional this whisky is not. There is so much going on here that just after your mouth has adjusted to the raw cask-strength power, waves of medicinal peat and smoke smoothly transition into juicy citrus and then a spritz of their peels. Spicy waves of other hard to pin down esters dance across your tongue. Really nice stuff.
Finish: Long and drying finish, salty and fruity fading slowly with peat smoke and bandages melting into a dark chocolate cascade .
Overall: Aged in French Oak this expression is the most expensive of the regular Ardbeg line up and is another no age statement whisky. Scores of reviews had led me to believe that the Uigeadail was not only cheaper but better than the Corry. I was glad to discover that for me that is not exactly correct. Though they are very close in quality, I find this one just slightly nudges the Uigeadail out. This to me is a whisky that only a true Islay whisky lover can appreciate. How can so much raw power and dryness be melded with such juicy citrus fruit while all the while never loosing sight of the more medicinal and smokey aspects of our peaty love. My mouth literally salivates at the thought of sipping some more. Lucky to be alive in a world that can produce such a fine product. Let the salty vortex overtake you and realize for a moment that letting the power of nature wash over you can be a more rewarding experience that sailing along calmly.