Ardbeg Corryvreckan Review

 

Ardbeg Corryvreckan Review

Ardbeg Corryvreckan replaced the Airigh Nam Beist in the Ardbeg lineup in 2009. Corryvreckan is created from a mixture of “French Oak” casks which, rumor has, includes some Burgundy wine casks and is named after the second largest whirlpool in the world (located north of Jura which is north of Islay). It’s a powerful and brutish whisky with subtle notes and undertones that move and shift like the undercurrent that surrounds it’s namesake.

Bottled at a pounding 114.2 proof this dense dram brings a lot of multilayered facets with it and like most whiskies bottled above 45% it benefits from a bit of water to help unlock the true potential it holds. Just a light splash will get this whisky churning, starting a chain reaction that opens the whisky and allows notes that were previously hidden deep to float to the surface. A fine dram indeed.

Ardbeg Corryvreckan Review

Distiller: Ardbeg
Age: NAS
ABV: 57.1%
Bottling: L13 240 11:12 6ML
Price: $85

Cask Strength
Non-Chill Filtered
Natural Color

EYE
Dark amber

NOSE
Peat and a sherry raisiny sweetness move out first and trailing behind is a complex aroma of sweet and savory notes like vanilla frosting, leather, baklava, smoked meat, honey Teddy Grahams and a mild dark fruit. Water kicks up some cumin like spice and dark sweets.

PALATE
Peat and a tarry sticky sweetness slide across leaving notes of raisins, sherry, dates and figs sprinkled with hints of vanilla, leather, spice and an odd note I can’t quite place. It’s not a bad note in any way and adds a nice dimension to it, I just can’t fully describe it as anything more than a dark earthyish note. Water kicks up the spice a bit more along with a dark honey note and makes the overall flavor come across richer.

FINISH
A long slow fade of peat, dark fruit, leather, cinnamon, mint and a light touch of woodiness.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Spot on balance, round smooth body and a thick slick heavy texture that is so easy to drink you forget it’s 114 proof.

OVERALL
Ardbeg Corryvreckan is awesome. I like it almost as much as I do the Uigeadail, but just not quite. Oogie is a hair more complex overall but Mr. Corryvreckan is nothing to sneeze at either. That Dense rich dark aroma is pleasant from first sniff to last as is the complex and dark flavor that shifts and moves across the palate. This whisky is an experience and one I recommend whisky lovers have!

SCORE: 90/100

Ardbeg Corryvreckan
  • Nose - 93
  • Palate - 95
  • Finish - 92
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 93

Value

Ardbeg Corryvreckan is a powerful brooding 114 proof NAS monster that’s bursting with character and at it’s current price it’s not too shabby of a value either. I’ve had whisky at the same price point that doesn’t even come close to what this guy puts out.

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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3 Responses to Ardbeg Corryvreckan Review

  1. Josh, this one is special! What a powerhouse with masterful balance. Truly one of the most entertaining noses I’ve encountered, each time I go back I discover a surprising nuance. I’m reminded of a dish my grandfather would prepare every summer; smoked pork loin rubbed with a coffee grind/brown sugar spice rub,with wood from Apple trees, served with a gastrique made with blueberries and Apple cider vinegar (sounds crazy, but amazing)! The palate delivers a roller coaster of big bold flavors, smoke, I swear smoked pork tenderloin, some sweetness, perhaps fig, followed by a brand new leather jacket and a creamy dolce latte. Completely satisfying and ridiculously memorable. The finish last a lifetime and achieves a balance that sets the bar; peat, brine, leather, and a restrained sweetened whipping cream… Incredible. Now, typically, I wouldn’t mess with a good thing, but hell, why not throw caution to the wind and add a dash of water! Befuddled, amazed, terrified!! This just developed a completely new personality! Seems more mature, complex, and even interesting. Seriously, a little water makes this juice dangerous, especially at this proof, an absolute delight! I’m going to pour another dram, savor it, reminisce, and contemplate the universe! There are far worse ways to spend a bitter Winter evening!

  2. Geeze, I even forgot to mention that, generally, I’m not really a scotch guy! I’m still completely enjoying an adventure with bourbon and ryes! I’ve generally found scotch a little challenging and somewhat unilateral, although, I’ve developed a taste for some. I enjoy Laphroaig 10, Aberlour 16, Monkey Shoulder, Tallisker, and all of the Macallen’s I’ve tried. My guilt exists, quite probably, due to the fact that a great friend shared a bottle of Macallan 25 with me well before my palate was really ready to fully appreciate it. I do still have strong, extremely favorable memories of it, I do kind of wish I could experience it now, with a more refined palette! I apologized for the digression, had that additional dram! This is definitely one to grab!!

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