Ardbeg Kelpie (left: Committee Release at 51.7% #caskstrength, right: General Release at 46% with box). My #tastingnotes are for the GR since I have already reviewed the CR.
#ardbegkelpie is different from your usual #ardbeg - I felt this when I was tasting the CR last month, but that night I was tasting 10 different whiskies and I thought maybe my palate was tainted. It's not. I have been playing with this #whisky for over an hour now. Definitely very different.
I can't say I like the nose. It is not balanced, there is no sweet in it, there are sour hints, more maritime but not necessarily in a good way. Maybe kelp smells like this?! And then there is a lot of wood. Too much for me. I have it time, added water, waited, etc. It changes, I must say it is quite volatile, but I cannot like it. Probably the whisky is too young.
Ardbeg proudly says they used some virgin Russian oak - from Adygea, close to Black Sea - in Kelpie. Is there anything special about this oak? Probably not, otherwise wine from the region would have been well known (they do make wine). If you ask me, probably the wood was cheap (that's how #scotch switched from #sherrycask to #bourboncask to begin with), and now Ardbeg is trying to give it an exotic spin.
Palate is a bit better, but not outstanding. Again the "Ardbeg sweet" is missing, there is more ginger, bacon, lemon. Subtle smoke.
Water makes it more spicy in a good way. But all in all, I am disappointed.
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