Ardbeg Supernova 2010. I believe in miracles…

supernova 2010

Since you came along
You sexy thing!

Here it is, standing all quiet and still in front of me. Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2011 Whisky of the Year… wanna bet? Not a bit of sarcasm or bitterness here though. Because this one for a change may actually deserve to be put in the spotlight – Ardbeg Supernova 2010 has just been released upon us.

Ardbeg Supernova 2010
60.1% ABV
£80 from Ardbeg website

Nose: My first thought was a memory, that of sitting by the fire when I was 15, camping away from home. A good memory and a good first impression. Bonfire compairson is extra cliché but it tells you a lot about the character of this whisky. Smells like your jumper the morning after, a souvenir of a brilliant night. Slightly hungover I crawl out of that tent and breathe in fresh scent of high summer morning. Rich burned apple and pine wood, orange peel… oh wait, there is ash in the air! Youthful and crisp with a smoky depth. Water opens a tobacco-smoke-filled painter’s workshop and wood varnish. Burning furniture… not that I’ve ever burned any of mine.

Palate: At first you get a second of ‘slack’, you almost thnik it’s a bit girly and then BOOM – it knocks your socks right off and turns your mouth into charcoal. A few seconds later there is a mango and orange grove fire going on, beautiful tropical trees going up in flames, consumed by the inferno of your taste buds. With water it became fizzy and fresher, the smoke is still ominous but it became somewhat less diabolical.

Finish: First wood smoke, then a mouth-watering wave of citrus and then big ash and fresh oak. After adding a splash of water the finish becomes an absolute cracker. It’s huge and long (that’s what she said anyway…), wrapped in an almighty sweet peat and eye-popping smoked fruit.

Overall: I want it and I want it again – always a good sign. It’s a beast but hell it’s a sexy one! I don’t believe in miracles and I expected it to be just like the last one – quite pointless. But on this one occasion I’m going to have to admit that miracles do happen and admit so I do gladly. Smoke is hegemonic throughout and it does restrain other aromas. But strangely enough it does not annoy, does not ruin anything. This clean and enormously smoky spirit will make your eyes water and your nose swell… and you can never say you know whisky until you’ve tried the new Supernova.

Lucas

ardbeg supernova 2010

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World Whiskies Awards Judge         Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards Judge Global Scotch Masters Judge         Scottish Whisky Awards Judge