Last Friday I attended to the pre-launch party of the Ardbeg Kelpie, held at the Westergasterras in Amsterdam. It turned out to be a great evening with delicious cocktails, good food, great company and of course the Ardbeg Kelpie itself. It was a bit overdone from time to time with Kelpies that came out of the water and wooden boxes, or a life-sized lobster that welcomed us at the entrance. But hey, it was a good laugh.

Now onwards to the Ardbeg Kelpie. When I tasted this during the event, my first impression was that it was quite good actually. I thought it was better than the Committee Release. But will I think the same while tasting it again two days later, without the atmosphere from a sunny evening at a party? Let’s find out!

This Ardbeg has matured in virgin oak casks from the Black Sea. Bottled at 46% ABV.

Ardbeg Kelpie tasting notes:

Nose: Hmm, that’s not bad. Quite sweet, honey, a really, really feint hint of speculoos combined with very sweet red apples but also a lemon and tar? Peat smoke. A white chocolate note. Later a bit more medicinal, and some vanilla on the background. When I let it stand for a while, lemon returns. And so is the peat smoke.

Taste: Brine in combination with peat smoke. Salty and sweet at the same time. Honey sweetness and dark chocolate in combination with the sweet red apples. And a hint of spices and pepper in the end.

Finish: A short to mid-long finish with peat, lemon and pepper.

Yes it is quite good, and I still believe this one is better than the Committee Release.  It is less raw and more well-balanced, I think. Maybe a bit too expensive for what you get, but it’s a nice dram.