Single malt whisky - tasting notes

18 Oct 2012

Ardbeg Galileo

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted 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 GalileoArdbeg 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.

Score: 87/100

Ardbeg Galileo 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2012-10-18
  • Johan L

    A new example of the LVMH marketing machine… I posted a critical remark on Jurgen’s Whiskyhuis Fb page about the ‘cross selling’, my post was erased immediately. I wonder how long people will buy this kind of stories.

  • Michael

    LMVH Marketing indeed. There should be 50.000 bottles, but I guess sending 1.000 on the market at a time makes Galileo more desireable… I will stick with the Oogie… :-)

  • kallskander

    Marsala finished? Marsala matured all 12 years. But that was too sweet so it was vatted with first and refill ex-bourbon casks from 1999.


  • The Malt Desk

    I did a review of it on Oct 1st and see we got many of the same notes off of it. I liked the ‘Distillers Edition’ feel it has – its a notch above Uigeadail in sweetness and I think it appeals to many drinkers not normally into Ardbeg.

    My review can be found here:

  • HoHo

    There’s better whisky for less money out there. I’ll stick to my Uigeadail and to the various great Laphroaigs.



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)
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  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1930 notes by Ruben

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