Ardbeg Auriverdes Review

Ardbeg Auriverdes001

49.9% abv

Score:  91.5/100


I doubt there’s a ‘buzzier’ whisky out there right now.  Even still…and much as usual…we’re a little late to the party.  I did get to try a couple drams of this on release day, but am only now getting ’round to sharing some proper tasting notes and personal thoughts.  Oh well.  I’m not even remotely worried about being first with these reviews; just the last one standing.  😉

Let’s take it back to square one for a moment or two.  Each year at the end of May/beginning of June Ardbeg takes the whisky world by storm, launching their latest novelty limited release.  A couple years back was the eponymous ‘Ardbeg Day’.  Last year’s release was given the appellation of ‘Ardbog’.  And this year we have ‘Auriverdes’.  The linguists out there (of which I am not one) may recognize the roots of this one in the Latin ‘auri’ for gold and ‘verdes’ for green.  Aside from the immediate and obvious connotations (gold liquid in the green bottle), there’s a deeper resonance with this choice of name.

2014 is the year of the World Cup (in fact, we’re smack dab in the middle of WC fever as I write this).  This year’s host nation is Brazil, whose team’s nom de guerre just happens to be…yep…’Auriverdes’.  Clever cheeky folks at Ardbeg, huh?  Ok, ok…the Ardbeg to football connection may be tenuous at best, but we’ll let it slide so long as the end product is a good ‘un.  But we’ll get to that momentarily.

Here in Calgary this year, our local Ardbeg Embassy and regional distillery representation pulled together a hell of an Ardbeg Day celebration.  This was a joint effort between local LVMH representation (Charton Hobbs) and Calgary’s Unquestionable whisky champion (Andrew Ferguson).  I won’t get into all details here, but before the day culminated in popping the cork on four and a half litres of ‘Auriverdes’, there was riot of an Ardbeg Day football (soccer) game, pitting team ‘Auri’ against team ‘Verdes’.  Sad to say I can’t report that the good guys won (i.e. the team captained by yours truly) but that’s ok…I’ve always been more of an antihero kinda guy, myself.  Either way…a very memorable occasion and launch for a very memorable dram.

Ok…media blitzing and marketing buzz aside…what makes this new evolution in the Ardbeg canon stand out?  A new ‘innovation’ in the handling of the cask heads this time.  Apparently one barrel end was lightly toasted to release more of a light vanilla influence, while the opposite was more heavily charred to elicit darker coffee-like notes.  The cynic in me would like to elicit a hearty and dismissive ‘pfffft‘, but the simple fact is…you can’t argue with results.  If that really was what was intended all along, it was a heartily realized experiment.  The whisky does indeed carry these very characteristics, and quite at the forefront too.

Auriverdes is a return to a more mature (though I don’t believe this is all that advanced in terms of actual years) and somewhat lighter style.  It takes me back to the Airigh Nam Beist from a few years ago.  And I have to say that I like it much.  VERY much.

Nose:  Sweet, sweet peat.  And smoke, of course.  Anise…fennel.  Salt, pepper and ginger.  A substantial lime note.  Touch of lemon too.  Honeydew melon and other soft, faint fruits.  Quite creamy.  Those coffee/mocha notes that are being advertised everywhere are indeed here.  With quite some vanilla as well.  Ice cream-ish.  Love the oak notes; those both fresh and burnt to ash.  Great nose all around.

Palate:  More lemon, with licorice, tar and damp ash.  Surprisingly sweet and soft.  Gentle smoke (well…gentle for someone accustomed to Ardbeg’s usual fare).  Lively wood notes.  Sharp coffee and dark chocolate (but not too heavy on these notes).  Much going on here.  Neat citric back end (is that grapefruit?!?).  Also…more medicinal than I generally find Ardbeg.

Thoughts:  Great balance on this one.  A softer Ardbeg than the last few releases.  And surprisingly…all the better for it.  The nose, in particular, is lovely.  Again…closer in style to the Airigh Nam Beist, I think.  Will have to try the two side-by-side.


– Reviewed by: Curt

– Photo:  Curt

38 thoughts on “Ardbeg Auriverdes Review

  1. Andrew Ferguson

    Though the toasted ends have helped create an interesting flavour profile, the result is still a more traditional style Ardbeg, and I too am a fan!

    And, ahem, the real good guys, captained by a rather heroic figure won the match…

    1. ATW Post author

      Oh. Sorry. I assumed that since you were wearing the shirt that said ‘captain’ that you WERE the captain. So…who was this heroic figure you speak of? 😉

      ‘Traditional Ardbeg’ is a good way to put it.


      1. Robert

        Really have been enjoying this! I went back the next day and bought two more bottles to put back (yes, it’s that good!). Maybe I should have picked up one more before they sold out, as this gets better as time passes. This, or even better, a cask strength variation should join the regular lineup. I love my Ardbeg and I love my freshly ground coffee, so this works for me.

  2. Tabarak Razvi

    Great review, as usual, Curt. Nice to see you enjoy this release. I actually didn’t think much of it. To be fair I did have it a cigar bar at a tasting so maybe I was off by a bit. I’ll go back and see if it changes my mind. Did you do anything special like resting it for hours?

    1. ATW Post author

      Hey, Tab. Many thanks. As always…appreciate the kind words. Can’t help but think we need to find a way to share drinks together at some point. Meeting on Islay someday perhaps?

      Yes, I really like this one. I mean REALLY like this one. Didn’t do anything special, just persistent tasting. 😉 I should note though, that I have tried this from the 4.5 litre bottle… from sample bottles…and from one of my own bottles. Indoors and out. All in the name of science, of course.

      1. Tabarak Razvi

        Islay sound like the perfect plan. However, before that there’s always Skype.

        I’ve been trying to put together a global tasting for a time now. It would basically mean at least two groups of people in different parts of the world with the same lineup of malts.

        Come together via video conference (Skye or Google Hangout being the obvious choices) and share their thoughts and tasting notes live.

        You and I have an 8 hour difference so if you don’t mind starting at 3pm (your time) we can tune in at 11pm (our time). Seems like the only respectable hours in my opinion.

        We can start off with just a couple of malts and try and keep the tasting to under an hour max.

        You think we can organize something like this?

        1. ATW Post author

          Missed this comment somehow. Perhaps in the spate of semi-vitriolic responses to the NAS debate. Anyway…lemme think over the virtual tasting thing. I did one Twitter Tasting and wasn’t my thing. Not sure about Skype. Will get back to you.

          More importantly…a few of us are bound for Islay next September. Just sayin’. 😉

  3. Robert

    Picked up two bottles of SN2014 yesterday. Looked at the price ($125), thought about it, grabbed a bottle anyway, turned to leave, turned back and grabbed another. Oh well, I’m sorry I only got one Galileo and one Ardbog, so I had to be safe.

    Opened it and nosed/tasted a goodly dram for over an hour. I’m not sure what to think yet. Definitely Ardbeg! But different from the others I’ve had. Color is similar to the Ten, so not any significant sherry influence there, even though they say some was added. Palate was citric (esp. lemon) with some seawater, transitioning to spice and then cigar ash. As a cigar smoker, that doesn’t bother me. The finish is very,very long and is dominated by ashy peat, but still has the spice and a bit of the citric/seawater. Water and time changes it significantly, making it more creamy, like with Laphroaig CS. I’ve got to let it sit for a few days and go back to analyze it more. It’s definitely a keeper, but at $125 I can get almost four Ten’s.

    Look forward to your review as I’m not as good at this as you guys. As always, Ardbeg has another interesting dram.

  4. Devin

    Had this on the shelf for 6 months now before opening it and wow…This is 10 times better than the Corry I opened a month ago. I really hope the bottle of Corry I opened was indeed the newer one I bought and not the one I’ve had sitting for a couple years (lost track which was which) because given the expectations I had for it, it was a bit of a let down. I found it sharp, yet underwhelming…This though was everything you said in the review, and I’d score it the same too!

    1. Robert

      Check the codes on the back of the bottles to see what the bottling dates are. Your older bottle can be found that way. I will say I prefer the 2014 Lagavulin 12 to my 2014 Corry.,’but both are worth having. I need to do a HTHTH with my open bottles of Corry, 10 and SN2014. What a rough life!

  5. Robert

    Only have half a bottle left of my last Auriverdes. Still as good as I remember from two years ago. Thinking of opening the Ardbog and Supernova 2014 bottles and see if my tastes have changed and compare the three. My last 2 bottles of the Ten were nothing exciting at all, so maybe the exclusives are the way to go anymore, NAS or not. Has anyone found the recent Ardbeg standards to have this problem? The Ten wasn’t bad, just not as good as I remember. Maybe I need to open that last 2011 bottle I’ve been hoarding to see.

    Also down to half a bottle of Cairdeas 2015, of which I’ve enjoyed several bottles. Better than the 15 (which was also good) and only $1 more here. For some reason there are several bottles of it still on the shelves, along with the Perpetuum, which I also like. Never got one of the Dark Cove, as they disappeared immediately. Oh well!

  6. Jeff

    I like a lot of stronger whiskies as well, but I’d never accept that their strength, or age, didn’t have an impact just because it was information denied to me at source, or that trading said information was some kind of “necessary bargain” to achieve quality or value. The NAS exclusives are the way to go if you want to remove metrics and dumb down whisky.

  7. Bob

    Ok, I get you have a thing against NAS whiskies, but what I would like to see at least once is something from you that’s positive about whisky.

    I mean, are you simply a consumer advocate with a one track mind or do you actually like the stuff and if so what do you like?

    You don’t have to go all out like Jack Nicholson in As good as it gets, but may something nice?


  8. Jeff

    As I said, I like a lot of stronger whiskies as well, and the comment was very on topic. If higher-strength whiskies are touted as superior in either quality or value, then how is that superiority enhanced by removing their age information unless (or even if) their age supposedly has nothing to do with their superior quality – and is that really what anybody believes, regardless of how superior quality is personally defined, as opposed to just what they’ll ignore for the sake of buying what the industry is pushing? How do uninformative labels make any whisky better or cheaper and how is NAS “the way to go” except to dumb down thinking, and purchasing, in whisky? I’ve pretty much given up on my critics dealing with the substance of what I’m saying (do you find me a “hothead” too? Oh, no!), but a closer read might be in order.

    If I didn’t like whisky, why would I care if others took it into the ground (unless I was trying to defend current pricing in the premium armagnac, rum or vodka markets)? If I like a whisky and feel motivated to say so, I do, but I’ve never had the burning curiosity about what everybody else is drinking that fuels the various incarnations of the “what are you drinking now” threads on many whisky sites. In all honesty, I just never found much of that stuff compelling, so I never assumed that it would be any more compelling if I wrote it.

    That said, what else do I like?

    I like peat over sherry, but integrated peat and sherry better than either.

    I like reviews with scores, because tasting notes don’t usually render real opinions on quality – and tasting-note-only reviews are often used by the sites I trust least because they avoid critical verdicts that might compromise the next sample/event invitation.

    I like Irish whiskey and wish it was more widely/easily available.

    I like Glen Garioch and wish it was more widely/easily available.

    I like writing that stands for consumers, instead of telling me about the poor industry and its problems, and wish it was more widely/easily available.

    I like Octomore, and Triumph over the regular Glenlivet 18.

    I like A’Bunadh, Uigeadail and Glenfarclas 105 enough to say that their contents should be defended by information about what’s in them (the silly crap about the “irrelevance” of their age would never be tolerated if applied to their ABV).

    I like Ledaig 10, Talisker DE (a couple of the DEs, actually), and Amrut (but not their secrecy).

    In addition,

    I like age information campaigns that mean what they say about a consumer’s right to know what they’re buying, and that are clear about what they are doing/proposing;

    I like people who can actually answer the simple question “does age matter to whisky” instead of turning it into “do I personally like/care about age statements” – sorry, your “not caring” about information doesn’t invalidate it or actually make it irrelevant to the product – because it gives me some hope that there might still be something that can be called “whisky expertise”, as opposed to just “whisky opinion or promotion”, left in the world;

    I like new releases that tell me all they legally can about the factors that make the whisky what it is;

    But, unfortunately, I haven’t had a lot to like lately.

    How about you guys? See any new and striking label colours, Gaelic names, or bottle shapes you’ve liked recently?


    P.S.: One thing I DO like is that Diageo has finally realized that it doesn’t really have any inhouse “Masters of Whisky” anymore ( It was something a lot of people knew for quite some time but, still, small steps.

    1. Chris 1

      There are a few NAS offerings that get a pass from many otherwise committed anti NAS-ites. Ardbeg Corryvrekkan and Uigeadail and Aberlour A’Bunadh perhaps being the most obvious examples. But lately I have noticed reviews for these slavishly lapped up expressions have been cooling off. Victor, a very credible and experienced reviewer over on connosr, just rated a recent Corry at 77 points. My most recent Uigeadail from 2015 is not up to the 2014 I just finished. This indicates to me that the components of these expensive malts with mystical, mythical names and stories are getting younger with each new batch. There is no chance that we will ever know what we are paying for.

      Stay the course, Jeff. And thanks for the Sponge link. As I mentioned over there, I think Dr. Nick Morgan is probably a proctologist.


      1. Ol' Jas

        Yeah, well he also rated a new A’Bunadh at 94. Overall downward trends take a ton of data to validate.

        None of that is to disagree with the “mystery meat” complaint about NAS whiskies. I think that’s one of the core problems with NAS.

    2. Ol' Jas

      Jeff, I like your “like” list.

      I’m not really sure whom you’re addressing with your (rhetorical?) questions. I for one agree with your opinion on NAS whiskies. I disagree with your insistence on making some weak analogy to turn EVERY discussion toward that topic.

      Was your Aug 14 post a reply to Robert? It sure seemed like it. He’s enjoying the Ardbeg one-offs better than the Ten and he wonders whether others agree. You make an analogy from high-strength whisky (which the one-offs ARE, but which didn’t seem to be Robert’s point) to NAS whisky and then make your usual NAS rant. Seriously, do you have that spiel on permanent copy-and-paste so you can readily fire it into any conversation that presents itself?

      Again, I agree with you, but I don’t want to see it posted on every subject ever.

      1. Jeff

        I’m glad liked my list, but if what I write sometimes doesn’t suit you, or many others, in terms of what folks “want to see” or where, I really don’t lose sleep over it. As I said, I like writing that stands for consumers instead of telling me about the poor industry and its problems and, frankly, I don’t find my critics providing that writing… at all (and, failing that, they could at least write something that WOULD keep me awake), so it could be that we’ll both have to learn to live with our disappointments. As I indicated on Whisky Sponge, and earlier on Dramming, I’m not waiting for you to either raise these points or to approve of them being raised by others. In the larger sense, I’d probably write less whisky criticism if I could read more of it, but I don’t feel I’m in danger of either any time soon.

        Most of the questions aren’t rhetorical; they’re serious – even if the one-offs are good, that’s no reason to trade product info for the quality or value that giving away said info doesn’t deliver or require; essentially the same “there are some good ones” argument used to justify support of the NAS trend. The “mystery meat” analogy is a good one and, again, how is NAS “the way to go” except to dumb down whisky? If those few lines in my first post, gentle and reasoned as they were, constituted “a rant”, you should avert your eyes from much of what I’ve written in the past, but maybe I’m mellowing with age.

        Like it or not, NAS is the main issue of the whisky day, and it’s the canary in the coalmine on the issue of industry, expert and blogger expertise/veracity on the subject of whisky. People who don’t know, or won’t say, if age matters to whisky don’t just hold “different opinions”; they’re either ignorant of, or misleading people about, the nature of cask physics, full stop. I’m sorry but, compared to that, much of what makes up the rest of whisky commentary, entertaining as it can sometimes be, is largely trivia. Yes, you probably read it here first.

        1. Bob

          But even in occupied territory, people still have weddings, and sometimes they talk about stuff other than the occupation…

          1. Jeff

            That’s true, but it’s also true of people who never really had a problem with the occupation in the first place.

  9. Robert

    Wow! Didn’t think my comments and questions would stir up an NAS debate. I do love Ardbeg and think the annual releases are a consistently good purchase, even though they aren’t as good as the “good” bottlings of the standards. However, they are definitely better than the “bad” bottlings of the standards. Nowdays I’m of the opinion that I’m taking less of a risk by grabbing the annual release, as the Ten has been so variable lately. Gotta wonder if the lack of older stock to add to lesser batches is really the case. What is really worrying is the possibility of their NAS standards dropping off, ‘as one of the arguments for NAS is they can mix in some older/better barrels and get more consistency. Does Ardbeg not have any stocks above 10 YO?

    1. Jeff

      “Does Ardbeg not have any stocks above 10 YO?” is a very good question, but another one is “does Ardbeg need any stocks above 10 YO if they can convince people that youth is the new ‘good’ and that age doesn’t matter to the final product?”. The key question, however, is if “one of the arguments for NAS is they can mix in some older/better barrels and get more consistency”, how can the age of what goes into it be argued to be irrelevant to the final result? The “irrelevance of age” and the “magic of multivintaging” don’t logically go together – in fact, they’re polar opposites and both can’t be true. Take that piece of information, and then take a look at the folks who WILL currently argue that both ARE true, and you soon create a long and troubling list of prominent whisky people who are demonstrably full of shit.

      Maybe I’m not mellowing with age.

  10. David

    Relax Bob, there are no proctologists. Can you imagine what it would be like to be one? They are called gastroenterologists and part of what they do is exam your bottom end.

    Jeff, I appreciate your attempt. It was nice to see you put something positive in a note.

    I think what bob meant was that it would be nice to see a comment on this site from you that was about the whisky in question.

    I was always told that “but” invalidates anything good you say before. “I’m sorry but” means you’re not. “It was good but…” Same thing.

    It’s ok if you don’t have something to say about a particular review. You don’t have to turn the discussion towards the NAS issue everytime.

    That said, I know you won’t lose sleep over this comment, and if you persist in your ways, neither will I.


    1. Jeff

      No, David, your skills at interpreting what others are “really” saying aren’t on the money in this case, and I can’t help what you were told except to tell you that. I am sorry, because various people might well be hurt or offended by the realization, but a lot of what passes for whisky commentary IS largely trivia compared to the fact that the people pushing NAS either don’t know whisky or are wiling to bullshit consumers about whisky (and this does have obvious wider implications beyond NAS, not that many, other than the crickets, are likely to turn their detective powers toward that).

      As for toeing anyone’s line about topicality – even though I was initially responding to the proffered idea that NAS is the way to go – no, I don’t lose sleep, and I should hope you would know that because I’ve already told you. Again, I’d probably write less whisky criticism if I could read more of it, but I don’t feel I’m in danger of either any time soon, and the threat level of me changing my ways because of my critics remains low and stable as well.

      1. Bob

        No Jeff.

        David is on the money here. I was indeed saying it would be nice to see a comment from you specifically about whatever whisky is being discussed without having to see another NAS diatribe.

        He is right, when you use an on-topic comment as a vehicle to pull the conversation in the direction you want, it is takes away from your contribution to the conversation.

        We know how you feel about labeling. Many of us agree. But this is really a site about enjoying whisky, not whining about he same thing EVERY time.

        You may not be able to accept the following, and it may come as a surprise to you:

        Some people like to focus on what they smell and taste and what other people enjoy in common with them.

        I challenge you to post a comment about a whisky topic without mentioning anything about NAS, marketing, or industry stuff.

        No one will lose sleep if you can’t do this, or if you simply choose not to, but I think a lot of us would be pleased if you could….

        1. Jeff

          No, Bob, he’s not right – not about what I was saying about Robert’s original comment of exclusives, NAS or not, being “the way to go” (so much for “pulling the conversation”) – that trading product info for quality or value that said trade doesn’t deliver anyway remains foolish – or about what followed from it from my end. I can’t say whether David speaks for you, or anyone else, or not, but that’s beside the point.

          You may not be able to accept the following, and it may come as a surprise to you, but I doubt the latter more than the former.

          A lot of people are lying about the very nature of whisky, and many other people know they are being lied to, but none of it matters as much as selling something and having something sold to them. Instead of facing that, and the implications that follow, what we get is a whisky shadow theatre focusing on “exciting new releases”, whisky “personalities” and what they can see from their office windows, and traded opinions on bottles the contents of which are increasingly becoming complete mysteries.

          I don’t deny the social aspects of whisky, but many are using those aspects as part of the distraction from the realities, even the physics, of whisky. It just ruins the game when someone brings up the fact that, for all that’s now built upon it, there’s a huge clear lie at the heart of modern whisky and at the foundation of the various pretenses of expertise and knowledge that, in turn, are used to sell that lie. There’s also a somewhat incomprehensible “check your brain at the door, it doesn’t really matter whether anything said about whisky is true or not” approach to a lot of whisky chat that I just can’t embrace, whether it leaves me outside the crowd or not.

          As for all the people who supposedly “agree with me”, yet don’t EXCEPT in the context of telling me I’m wrong, well.. it is to laugh. I don’t see many of my “allies” really having a problem with this marketing in so many words – and these points wouldn’t be made at all waiting for them to make them, but agreeing with me and being unable to refute what I’m saying aren’t exactly the same thing anyway, as I’m sure they’ve discovered.

          Pleasant dreams, and drams, y’all!

          1. david


            I won’t refute anything you just wrote, but I think the point is that some of us just feel that we can acknowledge the NAS
            Issue but still enjoy discussing what we like about whisky.

            It would be nice if, for once, every review or discussion didn’t have to be dragged into the same, now tired, issue about age.

            If you can’t do it, I mean if you feel you have to drag everyone into your agenda every time, I feel sorry for you, but please don’t mistake our agreeing with your oft-repeated points as endorsing hour approach

          2. Athena

            I try to be neutral in these conflicts.

            However, I do see the repetitiveness of the NAS issue being brought up and although it is a valid issue, I would side with those who feel they would like a break from it one in a while.

          3. Veritas

            Wow…quite the conversation.

            If I were allowed to put in my 2 cents ( or ~ 20 won) I would say two things:

            1. This site is run by Curt and he allows freedom of expression. This means that Jeff can write whatever pleases him.

            2. This site is about whisky. So anything about whisky is fair game.

            That said, and I suspect Jeff would decline my defense of his privilege anyway, I agree th it is annoying when every thread turns into a rant about NAS.

            건배 !

          4. ATW Post author

            Yes. This site has always been about dialogue. If I just hold forth spewing whatever I want, without allowing others a say, 1) I don’t learn, and 2) I’m no better than some of the eggheads in their Ivory towers working for the brands who refuse to acknowledge the voices of the consumer.

            A lot of times I won’t interject myself into a discussion (as I’ve already said my piece, either in the review, initial post or elsewhere), but that doesn’t mean I’m not reading and keeping an eye on things.

          5. Jeff

            I was commenting on a comment that directly addressed the acceptability, perhaps even the current necessity, of NAS. I think that there were also other issues involved, such as the general appeal of higher strength whiskies (and, by extension, of peated and sherried whiskies) to target audiences, but none of that undercuts the fact that one of the primary reasons that a whisky is what it is is cask time. Change either the strength or the age of the whiskies originally cited and you change those whiskies, for better or worse – but the idea that information can made “irrelevant” by its simple concealment is just something designed to dumb down whisky.

            There’s just no getting away from it: age is consubstantial, not to the quality of whisky, but, more importantly, to the very essence of whisky. While most won’t overtly deny this, which is why NAS doesn’t have a rational leg to stand on, there is a huge silence on this point, from both “experts” and consumers, in the face of a large and a concerted campaign to deny the impact of age. NAS isn’t the most important thing going on in the world, but it is currently the most important thing going on in whisky, and it’s frankly embarrassing that the people who supposedly care the most about whisky, and who know it best, turn a blind eye while we breathlessly wait to see what Ardbeg and Laphroiag will bottle/promote next using the next silly premise. Anyone who accepts the idea that the age of the distillery is more important than the age of what the distillery produces has lost their way and, if comments are to be believed, it’s largely voluntarily. Information doesn’t guarantee quality (but nothing does), but it provides metrics on content, and if product content has no relation to product quality, however assessed or by whom, we’re in some alternate marketing universe anyway.

            The question of agendas is an important one: who does this silence serve? The producers, certainly, but it’s hard to know how it serves consumers, or where we are in rational commentary when folks who will voice concerns over potentially usurious pricing on mystery bottles have no problems with the idea of mystery bottles in the first place. If one accepts that, because of various industry excuses, they can’t know what they’re buying, where’s the foundation to claim that it’s overpriced? I mean, what IS the current market price on the Gaelic names and mysterious Celtic magic that drives this stuff anyway? Would there be the same complacency if we were talking ABV and not age? If not, why not, the logic’s the same, so maybe it’s just as well that we’re not also talking about ABV or people would be selling us a bill of goods there too.

            NAS treats consumers as total fools and, unfortunately, acceptance of it only serves to confirm that judgment and puts the vast majority of other whisky commentary in that compromised context. It’s difficult for me to take whisky writers seriously on the subject at all when they’re either oblivious to the elephant in the room or they’re fine with the idea of being co-opted as elephant caretakers; the shit piles up fast. To not look at the whisky world through the lens of the obvious falsity of NAS is to look at it though one where simply spouting crap on the basis of reputation and opinion somehow just magically makes things so – and we’re back in that alternate marketing universe again.

            With a nod to Veritas (and particularly to Chris1), I do appreciate the defense (à la Evelyn Beatrice Hall, by way of Voltaire(?)), but I never took it as a case of a right to free speech – which I don’t deny to anyone, so I take it as read in any forum worth the name – but as a need to state self-evident truth in the context of dialogue that can’t even be concerned enough to deny that truth and instead just ignores it and carries on. Although study of how we got here would be interesting in and of itself, we’re now past the logical equivalent of “debating” whether whisky rocks fall up and, failing any ability to defend that ridiculous proposition anyway, just pretending that it’s OK and it somehow doesn’t reflect on those who won’t oppose it.

            With a nod to Ol’ Jas, it’s true what he says about the Sponge: satire with such a small audience has no business being that good.

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