For this year’s Ardbeg Day and the Fèis Ìle (Islay Festival of Music and Malt) Ardbeg went Caribbean with the release of their Ardbeg Drum. This is the first time the distillery has taken their whisky and finished it off in ex-rum casks from the Americas. To me, this was music to my ears because this Caribbean gal may love her whisky but rum, now that’s in my blood. This bottle was simply a must buy for me.
There were two different Drum bottles produced, both are non-age statement, but one was produced for the Committee and bottled at 52% ABV, while the other, the one I bought was bottled at 46% ABV. It seems like you can join their Ardbeg Committee by signing up here on their website for anyone interested in joining.
Nose: smoke, pineapple, brine and banana
Palate: creamy, almost oil like, chocolate, smoke, pepper, vanilla, with hints of clove and ginger
Finish: smoke and spices
This is a sort of different Ardbeg, and not in a bad way but in a refreshingly good way. It’s Ardbeg with a Caribbean flair that you’d think it wouldn’t work, but genuinely does. It is creamy, smooth and smoky with just the right amount of fruit and spices to balance any heavy sweetness away.
In the taste, I don’t pick up on any rum and honestly, I am not mad about that. I think the rum casks helped produce enough of spices and sweetness this whisky needed to set it apart for any other Ardbeg you have tasted before. Unlike the color of the whisky, which is a lightly golden, the flavors are bold, tropical with just the right amount of sweetness that finishes in a nice bite of peat smoke.
Ardbeg always produces quality products but this one completely blew me away. Out of the Fèis Ìle whiskies they have produced in the past, this one to me has been by far the best. It is surprisingly delicious, and I think that somehow the peat is slightly subdued due to the rum casks.
I would highly recommend trying if you like peaty whiskies and if you want to taste something different from Ardbeg. This whisky is absolutely fantastic!
Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.