If you’re a regular reader of Words of Whisky (I know there are some 😉 ), then it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m not much of a fan of heavily peated whiskies. So then why would I willingly drink and review the original Ardbeg Supernova, one of peatiest expressions from a distillery that is known for its peated whiskies? I think the best way to answer is: out of curiosity. It can be fun and also very educational to taste whiskies you wouldn’t normally relax with after a workday. On a related note, I also have a sample of Octomore 3.1 lying around somewhere. I’ll review that sometime, for the exact same reason I review the Supernova.
Ardbeg Supernova (58,9%, OB, 2009)
Nose: Peaty and fruity, although it shouldn’t be a surprise that the peat dominates. It is hard to penetrate the hell of fire and brimstone. I detect some sauerkraut, fresh apples and a salty sea breeze. But the main aroma’s are big and bold versions of peat, fire and tar.
Taste: Peat, rubber and tar. Slightly salty with some licorice. Very powerful and rich.
Finish: Fairly dry and intense with tar and peat smoke.
I try to objectively rate whisky. Not always possible of course, since there is no true objective way of rating whisky, and I’m only human. But I can say this: the Ardbeg Supernova is a well-constructed, heavily peated whisky. Probably pretty close to heaven for real peatheads. But this is not a whisky I would like to own. Subtle peat can add an extra layer of complexity to a whisky. Too much peat dominates a whisky, and doesn’t leave much room for other aroma’s and flavors. So for me personally, this is just too much.
It’s always worth stepping out of your comfort zone to try new whisky. You never know what you might end up liking.