Colour: Young Sauternes
If anyone wants to know how to build a cult following have them intern with the folks over at Ardbeg. Who would have thought of sending new make spirit up in space? And then releasing an expression commemorating that? Say ‘hello’ to the Galileo.
I would like to say it has a typical Ardbeg nose but it doesn’t. I mean it has the trademark peaty smoke (which is more pronounced than it’s cousins) and strong honey notes. There is a slight saltiness with a touch of grass which gives way to a chocolatey fruit basket. But the smoke and the wood tend to overpower a little.
The full bodied palate is much more familiar though not as sophisticated as you would expect from this monster distillery. Intensely spicy amidst the dark chocolate, nuts and some citrus.
The rather long oily finish has slivers of phenol and aniseed. There is also, dare I say it, a drop of something bitter.
This is an increasingly rare bottling and a must in the collector’s bar. Even though I would prefer to admire it on the shelf more than on my palate it still is a very drinkable expression.
Besides I heard it just won the World Whisky Award for best Single Malt. I must be daft or something…