Ardbeg ‘Auriverdes’

Bought: Ardbeg Shop, 15th July 2015

91.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
85.95/100 – Whiskybase (average from 445 member votes)

As I write this blog the Auriverdes is still available from the Ardbeg online shop for £79.99 (delivery inside UK only). That might seem a lot for a NAS (non aged statement) single malt until you consider that this is Ardbeg and the Auriverdes is their special release for the Islay festival day of 2014. The Whisky Vault is selling it for £120. The 2013 festival release, Ardbog, is selling for £150, so expect the Auriverdes to be hitting that price next year. If you’re reading this in 2016, or later, sorry! I started collecting whisky in 2013 so I know what it’s like to miss out on previous bottlings. I doubt I’ll be buying the Ardbeg ‘Day’ any time soon because the 2012 release now costs £270 at ‘Hard to Find Whisky’.

The Auriverdes is a new addition to the Whisky Bible 2015 and 91.5/100 classifies this single malt as “brilliant”. The author, Jim Murray, says of the taste “astonishingly light delivery: softer than any baby’s bottom and maltier, too. Indeed the gristy malt is unusually powerful for an Ardbeg but only because the smoke, which is definitely there, seems preoccupied with a massive surge of vanilla.” He gives the finish a fantastic 24/25 (i.e., 96/100) and summaries with “this version appears to be about the casks, possibly the char of the barrels” and “a real curiosity”.

Nearly 86/100 on Whiskybase is a good score but the Ardbog gets over 87/100 and the Day hits the heights of 88/100. You have to wonder if the festival releases are diminishing in quality or the novelty of them is wearing off. Nevertheless, comments for the Auriverdes are very favourable with voters saying “I really like it. The lack of punchy peat smoke really lets out the fruity side”, “this was a feast” and “well worth it.” One person recommends letting it breath in the glass for 20-30 minutes before drinking, which is always worth trying.

Ardbeg Auriverdes 70cl

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