Ardbeg Blasda 40% Vol
Ardbeg Blasda 40% Vol
Tasting Notes: By Tasos Protopapas
Nose: The initial aromas of peat and sea saltiness are blended attractively with traces of seaweed, followed by the scent of freshly squeezed lemons and smoky senses. To finish off, aromas of caramel and flower fragrances dominate.
Palate: Smooth, oily and creamy. Unlike the nosing where the savory is more pronounced, the mouth feel is sweet with flavors of dried fruit initially followed by peat and ginger that combine towards a dry and fine finish.
Finish: Medium, spicy with a peculiar lemon twist.
Delicate soft and gentle Ardbeg, perhaps the most misunderstood and underrated whisky from the particular distillery. If its alcohol level was more than 40% I am sure that we would be talking about a masterpiece. On the down side, its price levels have skyrocketed.
We all know Ardbeg packs a peaty punch, but if you remove some of that peat, can Ardbeg still retain its perfect balance? The mind bog-gling answer is "yes"! By taming our usual mighty peating levels we created Blasda, peated to an average of just 8 parts per million phenol (8ppm) compared to the more usual 24ppm. Blasda is still perfectly balanced, but light, sweet and delicious.
Aroma: Deliciously sweet and refreshing. On first nosing, the aroma is reminiscent of baked banoffie pie and roast chestnuts. On further nosing, cloves, pine cones and fresh mint rise from the glass, softened by creamy vanilla custard. A tingle of lemon and lime marmalade cuts through the vanilla with spiced pears followed by a breath of menthol and sea salt. Deep ripe fruits fuse with almond and vanilla.
With water, the sweet effervescence of sherbet vanilla and chocolate limes burst from the liquid. A bouquet of scented violet, narcissus and chrysanthemum bring a sparkling ethereal fragrance. Cured ham with a dusting of white pepper and cinnamon is served with gentle smoked fish and green peppers, with a sprig of leafy mint on top.
Taste: Refreshing, silky and creamy to the palate, the initial sip is sweet with a mixture of sugared almonds, marzipan and hints of dried fruits. Gentle peat oils well up on the palate, remaining soft, clean and dry with a dusting of powdery parma violets. Tangy lemon juice and orange rind freshen the palate with a gentle fizz. Later tingling spices and creamy cappuccino bring a gentle warmth.
Finish: The finish is medium in length and tingly with a refreshing balance of chrysanthemum tea, clean lemon zest, creamy vanilla and hints of cinnamon spiced apple.