No, the 7 R’s isn’t a misspelling but rather a pirates way to say Ardbeg. Before I get into the whisky let me clarify, yes this is a Ardbeg Committee release, however it’s not the yearly committee release from the Islay Whisky Festival. That 2021 bottle has yet to drop. Arrrrrrrdbeg was released to celebrate Mickey Heads. After 13 years of being Ardbeg’s Distillery Manager Mickey is retiring. Arrrrrrrdbeg commemorates his legacy.
This bottle also marks a first for Ardbeg. For the first time they have fully matured a whisky in ex-rye casks. It’s bottled at 51.8% abv and cost ranges between $179-$198.
Nose: smoke, banana, toffee and rye
Palate: smoked toffee, vanilla, caramel, spices and citrus
Finish: sea spray and lingering citrus notes
Cost: $179 (what we paid)
This whisky is in the same zone and even comparable to Ardbeg 10 year. The only exception being that one is matured in ex-bourbon casks while the other in ex-rye casks.
It’s smooth, smokey but it’s also sweet at times. You get loads of banana, toffee and caramel notes. It finishes with lingering citrus notes. I think that the sweetness levels are higher than normal due to the rye casks. Adding a splash of water enhances those levels of sweetness even further.
I blind tasted this bottle against Ardbeg Uigeadail and the Wee Beastie. This one stood out as the sweeter one of the three but still carried that signature peat smoke Ardbeg taste.
We love Ardbeg and we will enjoy this whisky but here’s my issue, in my opinion this bottle is not worth $179-$198. It’s a good whisky but not $179 good. If you’re disappointed you couldn’t find it I’m going to say you aren’t missing out honestly. Save your money! Maybe their 2021 Islay Festival Committee Release will actually be worth the price.
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.