I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant with this sample, reason being that after last year’s Ardbeg Kelpie, which was the first time I liked an Ardbeg release since 2012, I was afraid to go back to 2014, and the Kildalton. However, I’m working up to the sample of the Ardbeg 1977 I have, so here we go.
The Kildalton is a mix of bourbon and sherry matured whisky (both first fill and refill). If that sounds much like the Uigeadail to you, you’d be right, only it’s not at cask strength. So why, you must be wondering, would you pay double for it? That’s a fabulous question, to which I have only one answer: It must be the pretty box….
Ardbeg Kildalton 2014 (46%)
Appearance: gold, thin legs peeling off slowly.
Nose: Very Ardbeggy, you wouldn’t mistake it for anything else. Creamy and sooty with hints of butter and pine, and a little bit of cranberry (which I assume is the sherry casks). With time, there’s a sweetness from the sherry casks that develops.
Palate: Dry and mineraly peat, with a sweet undertone. The peat is a little more gentle, but something just doesn’t come together.
Linger: Dry and spicy, with peat and soot sticking to the tongue and palate. The linger is rather long and warming, with the peat ingrained deep in the cheeks. This is possibility the best part of the dram.
Another Ardbeg NAS, not really sheeried, but not really classic Ardbeg. For me, I’ll stick with the Uigeadale for sherry or the 10 year old for non sherry. This expression, like so many Ardbegs of the first half of the 2010s, is neither fish nor fowl (what Jewish people call Pareve). I will say that I have high expectations from the Groove…