Ardbeg Auriverdes - limited edition for Ardbeg Day 2014
Ardbeg Auriverdes, NAS, 49,9 %
Ardbeg Day 2014 has come and gone; it was celebrated on May 31. It has become tradition for Ardbeg to launch a limited edition whisky on Ardbeg Day. This year they launched Ardbeg Auriverdes. The name is a bit silly, if you ask me, but that's the only silliness about this lovely expression. More on that later!
The name Ardbeg Auriverdes is derived from 'auri' which means gold, and 'verde' which means green. So gold for the color of the whisky, and green for the Ardbeg bottles. 'Auriverdes' is also a nickname for the Brazilian national football team (soccer), and other sports teams - it is the colors of the Brazilian flag after all.
This whisky is a limited edition, the limit being 1110 cases (6660 bottles) from what I have gathered after scouring the internet for details. It will be released shortly in both Norway and Sweden, but with a very limited allocation. Sales start in Sweden on June 2, and the price is SEK 849 (item number 10203). Sales start and price for Norway is not known to us yet, but we assume it will be available starting Fruday June 6.
Ardbeg Auriverdes was distilled in 2002, which means the whisky is about 10-11 years old. There is no age statement on the bottle though. According to The Whisky Exchange Blog:
Its tweak on the regular Ardbeg 10 year old is that it was matured in second fill ex-bourbon casks, each fitted with a specially toasted head – specially toasted in a secret manner.
Nose (23/25): Very soft, comfortable and almost creamy on the nose. Lots of vanilla here, and a laid back smokiness. Chocolate, chocolate mousse, coffee, sea salt and lemon drops. The full sweetness with the added citrusy edge works very well. It is a typical Ardbeg, I would say, albeit more soft and creamy.
Taste (22/25): Rich and full bodied. The lovely creaminess from the nose is here. In fact the taste mirrors the nose very well; the lemon drops are here as well as the chocolate and peat. The smokiness is more apparent on the taste though. I also detect some pepper, a hint of salt and some nuttiness.
Finish (23/25): Warm, long, soft, embracing. The smoke becomes more dry and soot-like, and the vanilla morphs into caramel and fudge notes.
Balance (23/25): A more creamy and chocolate sweet Ardbeg than I am used to, and I certainly did not mind. A very fine dram! Now let's just hope that as many of you as possible get to enjoy this whisky at a reasonable price. The asking price is fair, I think. But I expect it will be sold out rather quickly, and you will start seeing ridiculously priced offerings on Ebay etc. Whisky is for drinking and enjoying responsibly, with friends, it is not for hoarding and financial gain!
Sláinte! - Thomas