Single malt whisky - tasting notes

22 Sep 2009

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Ardbeg

Ardbeg whisky A new Ardbeg is always something to look forward to. Ardbeg Corryvreckan replaces the Airigh Nam Beist and has already been announced in the UK (check Tim’s notes), but yesterday was the official launch date. The Committee version was received very well last year, so the general release promises to become a real hit (altough it’s a different batch).

Ardbeg Corryvreckan (named after a dangerous whirlpool in the seas near Islay) is composed around batches of spirit matured in first-fill French oak casks. They should give this whisky enough sweetness and spiciness to compete with the peat.


Ardbeg Corryvreckan Ardbeg Corryvreckan (57,1%, OB 2009)

Nose: sweet peat smoke mixed with lemons, fresh kumquats but also slightly overdue oranges. Walnuts and wet wool. A few grassy notes and hints of heavily toasted bread. Roasted nuts and a few spicy notes emerge after a while (pepper and ginger). I even picked up hints of violet candy which is quite remarkable. They were gone quickly, but it proves the Corryvreckan is indeed a real whirlpool of flavours. Mouth: very strong impact, starting rather sweet but evolving towards a spicy / savoury profile. Peppery with generous coal smoke. Lemon again, liquorice, phenols, very Ardbeggy. Toast with peach jam. Some cocoa. Finish: very long, continuously switching between peat, salt, mocha and pepper. Hints of olive juice.

Intense and powerful, no doubt about that, but balanced as well. Less peaty than Ardbeg Supernova but punchier / rougher than the Renaissance. Probably my favourite expression in the current Ardbeg range. Around € 70. Oh, and I really like the “no swimming” joke on the box!

Score: 88/100

Ardbeg Corryvreckan 4 Ruben Luyten 2009-09-22
  • gal

    great post. i am going to blog about this new one soon in my hebrew blog.

    what do u say? is it better than the beist?

  • Ruben

    Better / worse is difficult to say. The Beist is 70% fruit + 30% peat. Corryvreckan is 30% fruit + 70% peat. I think Corryvreckan is more typical for the modern Ardbeg profile.

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  • kallaskander

    Hi there,

    is that right?

    Ardbeg Corryvreckan (51,7%, OB 2009)

    You tagged it with 57,1%.

  • Ruben

    You’re right, thanks. Actually 57,1% is the correct alcohol volume.

  • Tim F

    Personally I think I prefer the Corryvreckan to the Beist. And it’s only a fiver more expensive at the moment, so I think it’s worth it. Obviously the Beist price will be rocketing up in the near future, so I guess the Corryvreckan will seem more reasonable then.

  • Ruben

    Don’t get me wrong, I also have a (slight) preference for Corryvreckan. It’s just that I see a general movement towards more heavily peated, less fruity, stronger Ardbeg. I’m afraid the slightly gentler Ardbegs such as the Beist, the 17yo… are a thing of the past now.

  • Drew

    Hey Ruben, any comparison of this release vs. the committee bottling? I’ve been saving my last dram of the comittee release to compare the general release, but would be interested to hear your thoughts.

  • Ruben

    Hi Drew. I haven’t tasted the committee bottling, sorry.

  • Gal Granov

    hey ruben, just posted my tasting notes.
    thought i’d share.


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  • capnbobo

    Well, after scrambling for a seeming eon I found a bottle and after ordering tracked it many times a day via FEDEX to determine whne it would arrive!

    Last day of the decade 2009 it arrived early in the day (Mountain Time), mid day or so now and an hour ago I decided it was just past 5pm on Islay, so it was prime time to put the latest addition into decline.

    Decided to enjoy a wee dram soaking up some vitamin D on the back patio even though the temp was just below 0 degC. Seemed like a swirling hot tub was the right place after sampling.

    GLASSWARE : Glencairn first blush then about an hour later a round, thicker “tot” glass with heavy bottom and 6 short thick feet

    COLOR : Gold, thought I saw an undertone of mild green…

    NOSE : Slight peat, citrus heavy of oranges, then moving lighter – mango?? A tad of salt air but not too maritime. Pleasant, no tingle or burn, I would say warming.

    PALATE : Pretty complex, started as a velvety coating. Initially sweet, then to malt with hints of pepper and spice. Is there a honey undertone there? Bit of oakiness.

    FINISH : Long and lingering. Pleasant.

    Slainte’, bob

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  • Raphael

    Hi Ruben, how comes you havent’t rated one of the greatest whiskies around, Ardbeg Uigeadail ?

    Cheers Raphael

  • WhiskyNotes

    I never seem to have come across an open bottle or a sample to do a proper tasting, but I’ve tried it once and it’s certainly good.

  • Raphael

    I have some bottles of the Uigeadail L7 325 (the supposed Murray-batch from 2007). Do you want me to send you a sample for a tasting ? Would be nice to see how you rate it.

  • Raphael

    You’ve tried it once ? I’ve tried it once too…, and from then on I’ve bee addicted. You do not seem to be interested in a sample of L7 325, are you afraid that Murray could be any right ?

  • WhiskyNotes

    By now I’ve acquired a sample of the L6 and L10 Uigeadail – I’ll try them in the near future. I’m not the biggest (modern) Ardbeg fan anyway which is why I wasn’t jumping in the air, sorry.

  • Raphael

    If you are not the biggest modern Ardbeg fan, L7 325 is the cure. For all the Murray-bashing, regarding L7 325 Murray was spot-on. I’ve had batches from L4, L6, L7, L8, L9, L10, L11…and I say it again, regarding L7 325 he was spot-on. People tend to overlook that the title World Whisky of the Year was given to L7 325, as Murray makes quite clear. If you want to look for yourself, my offer to send you a sample still stands.

  • Raphael

    OK, more yummy whisky for myself then…



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1931 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.