Matured in American oak and Oloroso sherry casks, this sublime 19 year old whisky is the epitome of an aged Ardbeg. Part of a highly sought-after and collectable Ardbeg series, 19 Years Old Batch 2 is a new permanent expression, released only in limited batches each year.
With a subtle change to the batch recipe, this is a transformational dram. That being said, the impossible balance of Batch 1 is still ever-present in Batch 2’s taste profile, as well as the palatable parallels with the place that inspired it – Islay’s Singing Sands. The first batch of Traigh Bhan went down a storm, probably because it was bottled in one! Batch 2 however was bottled during a haar*, making it an opportunity not to be mist...
On the nose, waves of sweet wood smoke and tart crème fraîche lap gently over bold notes of savoury fennel, celeriac and roasted tea leaves. A splash of water releases a gust of fresh seaspray, followed by irresistible aromas of leather, eucalyptus oil and pine.
Ripples turn to torrents as the true nature of this dram emerges. An intensely salty mouthfeel shifts like the tides into soothing medicinal notes. Swells of aniseed pass over the palate, before rich fudge, birch tar and peat smoke crash down wildly. Eventually, savoury and smoke collide in a sharp, intense and satisfyingly long finish.
*‘Haar’ is the Scots Gaelic word for a ‘thick coastal mist/fog’.
Non chill-filtered at 46.2% ABV.