Scotch whisky distillery favorite Ardbeg last year released Traigh Bhan, the first permanent age statement whisky which has been offered up by the producer in 20 years. It is back again now for 2020 as a second time release, said to subtly be different from the previous bottling.
Ardbeg Traigh Bhan (Batch 2), according to those behind it, is a 19 year old Scotch single malt whisky produced in the Islay region of Scotland. How it varies from the 2019 variant is that it has what’s said to be “an altogether more silky-smooth character, thanks to a higher proportion of 1st-fill Bourbon casks, alongside refills and Sherry casks.”
“To me, this whisky is the epitome of an aged Ardbeg,” said Ardbeg’s Whisky Creator, Dr Bill Lumsden, in a prepared statement. “It somehow manages to balance the complex with the classic. It’s a truly unique bottling and we hope Ardbeggians everywhere look forward to comparing notes with the previous batch. I know I did!”
This whisky is bottled at 46.2% ABV and set to release this month for around $300 per 750 ml bottle. You’ll find some official tasting notes below for your consideration, It should be noted as well that the taste profile “isn’t the only thing that changes year on year. Each Traigh Bhan whisky carries its own unique batch code, batch symbol and signature from one of the Distillery’s famous faces – this year it’s Jackie Thompson, the Distillery Visitor Centre Manager.”
- Color: Pale Gold
- Aroma: On the nose, faint ripples of sweet wood smoke and tart crème fraîche flow gently into bold notes of savoury fennel, celeriac and roasted tea leaves. Plunge further and discover alluring aromas of charcoal and lightly burnt toast. A splash of water releases a gust of fresh seaspray, followed by eucalyptus oil and pine. Finally, this irresistible nose ends with an unmistakable top note of saddle soap and leather.
- Taste: An intensely salty mouthfeel shifts like the tides into soothing medicinal notes, followed by salted peanut brittle, smoked pineapple and lime juice. Waves of aniseed lap over the palate, before rich fudge, birch tar and peat smoke crash down wildly. This is a dram that coaxes you in, and all assumptions are best left behind. Simply let this alluring spirit surprise and delight.
- Finish: Savoury and smoky notes collide in a sharp, intense, yet satisfyingly long finish.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...