Ardbeg Distillery finds itself at home on the isle of Islay, where the sea breeze has a mighty effect on the liquid produced here.
The distillery was first founded in 1815 and therefore has a long past, but is has firmly established itself as distillery with its eyes set on the future.
In 2011 they cemented themselves into Scotch history by firing off a sample of their 12 Year Old malt into space. The malt orbited the earth for several months and was eventually brought back down to earth for our enjoyment.
This was all to measure the effects of zero gravity on maturing Whisky and once you’ve gotten a taste of Galileo, you’ll see why this was a completely necessary experiment!
It is called after the world famous Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei who has long been called the father of modern physics. That’s quite a reputation to live up to!
Ardbeg as a brand are known for their big flavours and peaty expressions, and this dram is no different, despite having spent time in in orbit.
The nose does not give away a lot of peat initially, but there are smoky notes that provide a bit of a warning of what is to come.
For the most, the nose is sweet and tangy, with lots of pineapples and oranges. You will be salivating at the ripe fruit juices that combine with a smooth, coconut flavour to create a tropical dram.
It may have spent time in space, but with the tropical fruits in this nose, you’ll think it had been to the Bahamas instead.
The nose ends with a wonderfully spicy note that gives a bit of warmth to the smoke.
And on the palate this flavour is a lot more obvious. And by obvious I mean it is a smoky punch to the face. But in a good way.
This is definitely a member of the Ardbeg family, with plenty of peat and smoke to keep their fans happy.
This combines well with the tropical fruits and offers a subtle backdrop for them to jump out from.
There is also a great toffee and hard caramel flavour to provide something more saccharine to the palate. This goes perfectly with the thick Ardbeg smoke.
The mouth feel also goes well with the caramel, as it is smooth and luxurious. There is a slight nod towards pepper as well, which adds a certain warmth that goes hand in hand with the creaminess of the caramel.
This dram has a strong finish, with plenty of smoke and cream. It goes down easy and will leave you wishing they sent Whisky into space more often!
One of my all time favourite whiskies.