Ardbeg Supernova (2009)
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.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.