Tag Archives: Islay

Ardbeg Drum Review

I wanted to love this. I really did. As soon as they announced this year’s Ardbeg Day release was going to be rum cask-matured I immediately went into mental damage control. It’s okay. Relax. It might still be good. You don’t much like wine casks, but Grooves was good, right? Rum, though? Really? And that name. I’ve mentioned the concept of jumping the shark before, and maybe this is finally it.

A few years ago, Diageo’s Nick Morgan made some ridiculous comment that fired up the cognoscenti. He was coming out in defense of NAS whiskies (or if you can read between the lines: being the human shield for the fatcats at Diageo HQ) and said something along the lines of running out of numbers for age statements. Silly, of course, but I’m hoping that the idea of ‘running out of’ anything is maybe a little more applicable on the NAS side of things. Especially as relates to Ardbeg, one of my most beloved of distilleries. Maybe they’ll run out of silly concepts, and go back to numbers. Can you imagine the buzz for a proper age-stated range of Ardbeg? I mean, a regular core range of 10, 17, 21 and 25 or something? That I could get behind.

Drum…well…not so much.

Is it bad? No. Not actively. Is it good? Meh. S’okay. Not much more. I find it oddly thin and lacking the swagger that Ardbeg usually has in spades. Anyway…

46% abv

Tasting Notes

Nose: Very young-ish. Smoky as hell, but…lacking the expected…I dunno…Ardbeg-iness? Licorice. Bicycle tires. Overripe banana. Caremalized pineapple sugars. Banana cream pie. A little Coke with lime. A bit of eucalyptus chest rub. Smells kinda like someone polished up a pair of Wellies. In all…meh. Underripe and out of balance.

Palate: Again…missing that Ardbeg character. Hot, youthful and spirity. Black wine gums. Sweet barley sugar notes. Sensens. More rummy rubber tones. Lemon. Plastic. Brackish water. Not bad; just not exciting either. It’s almost hard to find the real Ardbeg in there.

Finish: Long, as with all Ardbeg, but yet still somehow thin. Like a longheld reedy note in a symphony when you’re expected a tuba. Leaves behind fruit skins, licorice, toothpicks and a little bit of that plastic character.

Thoughts: You lost me on this one, Ardbeg. For the first time in memory, I’ve not bought bottles for myself. Can we please just have a regularly available, fairly priced 17 year old again? Please?

79/100 (and that might be being a tad generous, if I’m being honest.)

Calgary Whisky Club – Update #3

Greetings, Members, Malters and soon-to-be-members!

The Willow Park Whisky Club (not an official title) had its first official meeting on the 5th of September, 2010.  Though the Labor Day long weekend prevented several individuals from attending, a large handful came out to break a bottle on the proverbial maiden voyage.  Thanks to all of those (like myself) who lacked the foresight to book an extended vacation at this time and were able to attend.  😉

What happens in Whisky Club stays in Whisky Club.  Well…not really, but…suffice it to say…details will not be shared here for the masses.  The long and short of it was this…

We met, laughed and lingered.  A few glasses were shared from a selection of bottles while we discussed the direction that we would like to go from here.  The decision was made to have one more session as a ‘meet-n’-greet’ as so many were away this time.  Next meeting is Sunday, October 3rd at 7:00pm.  This is when we will sort out a few more details.

A few who came out were surprised that this was an open membership deal.  I think the assumption was that it was an invite only club.  Apologies if anything said here has led to that belief.  In clarifying…

Next meeting is Sunday, October 3rd at 7:00pm.

Anyone reading here…feel free to join us, and if you have others interested…bring ’em along! 

We will cap membership at a specified number, but until that number is reached, it is open to all.  The only criteria…you have to enjoy whisky and want to meet people.

Finally…October 3rd will be something of an Islay night, based on early vote.  I (Curt) will have returned from this land of peat and smoke only days prior.  I’ve been asked to spill a little bit about the trip upon return.  Should have some pics and maybe video to share.  (Anyone care to do the powerpoint work?)

So…spread the word and round up your colleagues.  What is whisky without friends?

Until next update…Slainte!