Today I am going to review a bottle which has been long overdue. Ardbeg Kelpie Committee Edition is a ‘Limited Edition’ expression specially released to celebrate the Ardbeg Day 2017. I got the chance to sample this dram during a tasting event organized by Cirkin Adamlar Tasting Club.
There has been two versions of this release. The first one -Committee Edition – which was released earlier – March 16th – was exclusive to Ardbeg Committee Members and came with a higher ABV value, 51.7%. Second version was more of a general release was made available on June 3rd. This one came with 46% ABV.
This expression gets its name from the mythical sea creature that was beleived to be found in lochs around Scotland. Charles Mackay – a famous Scottish Poet from the 19th century- mentions this creature in one of his works titled ‘The Kelpie of Corrievreckan’;
He mounted his steed of the water clear,
And sat on his saddle of sea- weed sere;
He held his bridle of strings of pearl,
Dug out of the depths where the sea-snakes curl.
I warn you, maids, whoever you be,
Beware of pride and vanity;
And ere on change of love you reckon,
Beware the Kelpie of Corryvreckan.
What makes this bottle unique is the type of casks used in its maturation. Ardbeg Kelpie is matured in virgin casks, made from new oak grown in the Republic of Adygea (Russia, near the Crimea) by the Black Sea. According to the company;
“It is the Distillery’s first whisky with a heart matured in virgin oak from the Black Sea coast. Renowned for imparting incredibly deep flavour notes, only a handful of whiskies have ever been matured in these Black Sea casks. Married with hallmark ex-bourbon Ardbeg, it results in a whisky of incredible depth, which tells of its ties to the Black Sea and the waves of flavour its casks have created.”
Ardbeg Kelpie Commitee Release is a NAS (Non Age Statement) product that comes with 51.7% ABV. It ‘s non chilled filtered. Unfortunately finding a bottle might be a hassle due to the fact that it has been sold out within hours of release.
Ardbeg Kelpie Committee Edition Whisky Tasting Notes
Color: Light Golden hue…
Nose: Opens up with a definite beach feel… lots of seaweed, iodine and damp seashells… Light fruitiness in the form of peaches mixed with lemon oil tries to come out… bit of vanilla and toffee… Strong peat brings the smoky and meaty presence and assures a welcomed Ardbeggian feel… White pepper and cinnamon create the spiciness… Darker notes of chocolate and roasted coffee on the background…
Palate: Creamy and full bodied… Starts sweeter than the nose… Fruit aromas with vanilla and toffee… Shortly after the meaty, smoky flavors start to take over bringing out the spices, cinnamon, white pepper and a dash of clover.. Burnt wood and ash like bitter notes come along with touches of sea feel… The later parts feels almost ‘Salty’…
Finish: Medium to long finish… Almost Salty & Spicy in the mouth transforming into more ash like bitter notes…
Ardbeg Kelpie is a good example of a nice Islay whisky. It offers a nice, satisfying experience to all whisky lovers especially who has a special thing for Islay whiskies.