Ardbeg Perpetuum – Ardbeg Day, NAS, 47,4 %
It does seem a bit unneccessary to create this much confusion over a whisky (or two whiskies, as it turned out). Ardbeg really did confuse matters a bit around the Ardbeg Perpetuum. At first there was just the Ardbeg Perpetuum released in the distillery shop when we were there in March (see review here). It was labelled Distillery Release (DR), and was said to only be available in the shop. No sales anywhere else, including online.
Then it appeared this DR release was not officially scheduled for release until early May. All of a sudden 2500 bottles were also made available to buy online, UK only though. Then stories of the Ardbeg Day Ardbeg Perpetuum release started appearing. It was to be released on or near Ardbeg Day (May 30 2015). But the label was different, and the ABV was different from the DR (47,4 % versus 49,2 %).
Norway being the odd one out when it comes to alchohol sales also released the Ardbeg Perpetuum Ardbeg Day on Friday May 8 2015! Apparently the Ardbeg Day version is getting a global release, and is ‘limited’ to 72 000 bottles, where the DR is limited to 12 000 bottles.
Confused fans have to get a hold of both releases, of course. Whisky is for drinking, tough, not hoarding. So if you intend to drink this whisky, as I am sure you will, I thought it would be good to post an article where we compare the two releases to see if there are any differences.
In an attempt to make the comparison as fair as possible, I had my wife pour the drams and then give them to me not saying which was which. In addition we repeated this tasting twice, with a few days in between.
My verdict after these sessions is that I like them both, but the DR version is the better one. It is a bit richer, more fruity to taste and has a richer and longer finish.
The Ardbeg Perpetuum Ardbeg Day release is still availble to buy in Norway at NOK 916 (item number 2190601), and it is to be released in Sweden on June 5 2015 at SEK 849 (item number 1164701).
Nose (21/25): Smoke and ashes, with a hint of gasoline and burning tires. Anarchy on the streets of Islay? It is rich and warm on the nose. Chocolate, lemon, and a bit of oak.
Taste (21/25): Chili chocolate, pepper, peat and warm ashes. Ginger and oak. It is quite smooth, but has a slight metallic edge to it.
Finish (22/25): Hot coffee, dark chocolate, and rich honey. Licorice and lemon. Warm and long finish. A bit rough and earthy in a good way. There’s a hint of gasoline here as well.
Balance (22/25): Quite a good dram, I must admit. I do prefer the Ardbeg Perpetuum Distillery Release, though. See here for my review of the Ardbeg Perpetuum Distillery Release.