The Ardbeg distillery recently unveiled its first ever “Traveller’s Exclusive series,” being described as “a unique way for global travellers to take their palate on a journey, exploring the influence of different casks from around the world.”
The first bottling chosen for this collection is called Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition. It is, according to the brand, a marriage of “whisky aged in the finest Manzanilla sherry casks and classic Ardbeg American oak casks.” The sherry casks herald from Sanlúcar de Barrameda on Spain’s Atlantic coast.
Bottled at 46% ABV, Smoketrails is available through October exclusively in nine UK airports, including London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Come November it expands to being in person at the Ardbeg Distillery Visitor Centre and in most international airports globally.
Official tasting notes are below for what is being called the first in a highly collectible series of limited edition whiskies.
- Color: Pale Gold
- Nose: Deep, pungent flavours take to the air, a curious combination of tar, saddle soap, pine resin and Brazil nuts. A very aromatic whisky, with lovely herbal notes and a hint of moist peat bog, while storm-churned sea spray soars overhead. With water, some chocolatey notes appear, along with a touch of engine oil.
- Taste: A slightly drying mouthfeel, followed by deep, pungent flavours that hurtle across the palate: tar, soot, dark chocolate and a very distinctive nuttiness, like Brazil nuts or hazelnut.
- Finish: Plumes of fennel and pine billow up, leaving a long, lingering trail of carbolic soap, aniseed and leather.
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...