Ardbeg’s newest committee release started life in 2007 through an interesting series of events kicked off by a broken boiler.
An Experimental Whisky
Fermentation is a key part of the whisky making process. This is where grains, which have been ground and added to water, are mixed with yeast to produce alcohol (although this is a very simplified version of the actual process). Each distillery has their own take on fermentation that they will stick to rigidly, so as to ensure consistency in their malt.
Ardbeg is no exception, but in 2007 a broken boiler gave them a chance to see what would happen after three weeks of fermentation. That’s a long time for wort to be fermented and 13 years later we have the results.
Head of Distilling and Whisky Creation, Dr BIll Lumsden, commented on the expression, “I’ve always wanted to experiment with longer fermentations, so I think an unintentional boiler breakdown was the best thing that could have happened. For context, most Ardbeg is only fermented for 72 hours, making three weeks unchartered territory for us.”
“The outcome is a dram that tastes like pure science fiction. Peat and smoke meld beautifully with fresh, floral flavours, while sharp, more malty notes give Ardbeg Fermutation a uniquely zingy profile.”
Tasting notes for Ardbeg Fermutation 13 Year Old Single Malt Islay Scotch Whisky
As well as a three week long fermentation period, this whisky has also been matured in ex-Bourbon casks.
The nose begins with floral and peated notes. It is a wonderful amalgamation of the two. There are lots of natural flavours appearing, with herbal notes and peat smoke taking over.
The palate has more sweet flavours and a hint of aniseed and fennel to offset the caramel and toffee notes. Peat of course comes through, with seaside flavours and big notes of malted grains and biscuity hints.
The finish lingers on peat and sea salt, with delicate notes of dark caramel and cigar ash.
Thank goodness for broken boilers, because otherwise we wouldn’t have such an intriguing malt. Three weeks of fermentation have resulted in a very interesting mix of peated notes and floral flavours, with malted grains underneath it all.
Ardbeg have stunned us once again!
What are your thoughts on Ardbeg’s Single Malt Fermutation Scotch Whisky? Share your thoughts in the comments!