Ardbeg Kildalton 2014 Whisky Expression Quick To Be A Collector's Item - The Whiskey Wash

Ardbeg Kildalton 2014 Whisky Expression Quick To Be A Collector’s Item

By Nino Marchetti / July 16, 2014

The Scottish distillery known as Ardbeg heralds back to 1815 and is noted for its heavily peaked Islay whisky. It is a popular collector’s brand, with limited edition releases often going quickly and commanding fierce prices on the secondary market. One new offering not even in the full pubic eye yet is already getting scooped up by those in the know, which is good not just for Ardbeg, but also a local charity project benefiting from its sale.

Ardbeg, through owner the Glenmorangie Company, recently brought to market what’s dubbed “a prestigious limited edition whisky” known as Kildalton. The Scotch gets its name from the nearby Kildalton Cross which, at 1,200 years of age, is said to be an Islay icon.

Ardbeg Kildalton

Kildalton aims in part to benefit the North Highland Initiative (NHI). Inspired by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, the NHI is a charity that supports fragile, rural communities across the North Highlands. Ardbeg is working with a local community charity on the project, with funds raised from the sale of this Scotch contributing to the project’s development.

Information from the distillery on this release indicates it is a non-chill filtered expression bottled at 46% ABV. It was created “from a range of different ages and styles of Ardbeg matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks” that, taste wise, brought together the “powerful flavour of coal tar soap with the softness of sweet, sweet barley malt.” More tasting notes are below. As for price and availability, you can buy a bottle exclusively on site at Ardbeg right now only for around $205, or wait until it goes on sale in select places online this fall. Bottles are also already popping up on whisky auction sites, commanding in some cases a premium closing gavel amount of over $800!!

Aroma – A beautiful, seductive, exotic bouquet, with hints of smoked apricots in syrup, salt and pepper seasoning, and some soft, creamy vanilla. This then leads in to a symphony of smoky and herbal notes, like wood smoke, tar, menthol and fennel. A little water releases more volatile top notes, like pine resin, vetiver root, coriander, liquorice and a curious soapy note.

Taste – The texture is soft and ‘sappy’, gently coating the tongue. The explosion of firm, robust flavours is unquestionably Ardbeg – coal tar soap, aniseed, peppermint, espresso coffee, sweet barley malt, and a lingering, aromatic smokiness.

Finish – The lengthy finish is both fresh, with menthol, and spicy, with hints of allspice, clove and bitter almonds, finally revealing a distant vanilla essence sweetness.