18 Oct 2012
Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Ardbeg
After a lot of rumours, it turns out I was right about Ardbeg Galileo. This 12 years old vatting of bourbon casks and Marsala casks was launched at the beginning of September and sold very well, even though some retailers were playing tricks like “you can only get Galileo if you also buy a 10yo and Uigeadail for a special ensemble price”. Most of these retailers are still trying to sell their bottles. Now let’s see what the space hype was all about.
Ardbeg Galileo 12 yo 1999 (49%, OB 2012, first fill ex-bourbon and ex-Marsala casks)
Nose: relatively soft peat, with lots of sweet elements. Pineapple, banana and tangerine. Don’t expect a fruit basket though, it’s still clearly Ardbeg. Hints of sugared popcorn. Behind the sweetness is a classic lemon / verbena touch. Subtle seaweed and tarry ropes. Some vanilla. I really like its round and slightly tropical character. Mouth: surprisingly smooth, with creamy, toffee-like flavours and apricots on the one hand and a sharper, lemony peat on the other. Nice to find both sides but they don’t seem to go hand in hand entirely – there’s also an empty middle and a slight lack of punch. Evolves on liquorice, sweet pepper, lacquered bacon and coal. Finish: long, creamy and ashy with some green leafy notes in the end.
I really like peaty whisky that’s rounded by sweeter notes, so this is a welcome type of Ardbeg after a tendency to produce more heavily peated versions. While the nose is great, on the palate it could use a little tweaking. Around € 95.