Who Is Ardbeg Supernova Actually For??


Well, not for me, that’s for sure. An off-the-wall, super young, super peated, undrinkable whisky that retails for over £70? Not a chance I will be buying one. On the other hand, I recently spoke to a guy who already is on his second bottle and claims it’s the best drinking Ardbeg ever. Wow.

What is the trick then? Am I too young for it? Too poor? Too fussy? Too soft? Too urban? Too stupid? Let’s try and find out.


Ardbeg Supernova
58.9% ABV
£73.99 from here

Colour: Vegetable oil.

At this stage I can see genuine fear in Chris’ eyes. He is slightly hangovered from exceeding his daily recommended alcohol unit intake like a pig… but he is still braving through our tasting.

Nose: Not nearly as monstrous as expected but still pretty damn peaty. Smells like summer bonfire ash in the morning after a heavy rain. Less poetic? Wet dog and fried mushrooms. Baked potatoes. Autumn fires in back gardens. Note of nuttiness but also this trademark Ardbeg zesty, lemony scent and a fair bit of creaminess. With water, more like beach bonfire with extra sweetness. Marshmallows perhaps?

Palate: It is almost pointless to describe. If you haven’t tried it, you won’t believe it. It genuinely is like eating spoonfuls of ash. No offensive bitterness. Mouthwatering. Dry and blunt texture which goes perfectly with the flavour.

Finish: Keeps coming with buckets and then lorries of ash. It’s as if all the peat bogs of Islay just burnt down and were now coming back to haunt me. It just never stops, absolutely crazy. I have to check with my finger if my face tongue is still there. When you are reading this, mind it is still going…

Overall: Out of ten, the balance would be zero and the experience would be ten. Totally off-the-wall, abstract whisky. Unchallenged in its category, unbelievable. I thoroughly enjoyed it, yet I hope I won’t have to drink it again any soon.

Person: Pagani Zonda (not really a person but Supernova is not really a whisky) – Gorgeous, but so ridiculously over the top that it is virtually pointless. Art for the sake of art. The form triumphant over the substance.


It turns out I am neither too young nor too poor or too fussy. I’m also not too urban, stupid or soft, or so I would like to think. I am simply too down to earth for this cosmic Supernova challenge.


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