Ardbeg Kildalton 2014
Ardbeg Kildalton, NAS, 46 %
A couple of days ago the Glenmorangie Company (owners of Ardbeg Distillery) announced a new partnership with the North Highland Initiative (NHI). The NHI is a charity that supports fragile, rural communities across the North Highlands in Scotland. To help raise funds for this charity, Ardbeg Distillery is introducing a New limited edition whisky, Ardbeg Kildalton.
Ardbeg Kildalton went on sale at the Ardbeg Distillery on June 12, 2014. The retail sales price will be GBP 120. It has been matured in a mix of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks (both 1st fill and refill).
For now it will only be possible to purchase this whisky at the distillery, but in the Autumn of 2014 it will also become available to buy online.
Ardbeg Kildalton takes its name from the nearby Kildalton Cross. At 1200 years old the Kildalton Cross is an icon of Islay and Scotland and stands six miles along the coast from the distillery. Ardbeg also released a whisky by the name of Adbeg Kildalton back in 2004, but that was an unpeated expression. This new Kildalton is peated, as we expect from Ardbeg.
[2014-10-27 Update] On Thursday October 30, a total of 2880 bottles of the Ardbeg Kildaton 2014 will be released for sale in Sweden at a price of SEK 1799 (item number 11248).
Nose (22/25): Bonfires, forest fires, camp fires, ashes hot and cold blowing in the mild sea breeze. Creamy, and slightly citrusy, which is not a big surprise with Ardbeg. Salt and white pepper, and a hint of mint. After a while I pick up grilled bananas, and some other unspecified fruits as well.
Taste (21/25): Smooth, a bit on the dry side. Dark chocolate, chocolate mousse, and white pepper.
Finish (23/25): Turns a bit more dry towards the end, but at the same time it has a mouth-watering effect. Mild caramel, some peppermint and a hint of licorice. The chocolate dominates to the dry and slightly bitter end. I must say this finish is really, really nice.
Balance (22/25): Again a nice, new dram from Ardbeg. I really liked it. Especially the finish on the Ardbeg Kildalton made an impression on me. Yes, it is a NAS, and yes there will probably be a lot of hype again. But from what I understand the release is not very limited, it is more a matter of limited availability to buy (only at the distillery) at the start. I do feel that it is a bit too pricey for a NAS though, even with the good quality of the dram itself and the packaging.
Sláinte! - Thomas