Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19yo Batch 2

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Just over a year ago Ardbeg announced that, for the first time in twenty years, a new age statement expression was to join the distillery’s core range. Traigh Bhan, so named after ‘The Singing Sands’ of the local beaches, is an annual limited edition 19 year old release which has been matured in a combination of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. As mentioned last year when I had the opportunity to taste the first batch, the recipe will be tweaked from year to year to create subtle differences in the liquid. Batch two has a higher proportion of first fill bourbon casks compared to the first batch which are said to accentuate the ‘silky smooth character’ of the whisky.

Ardbeg’s Whisky Creator, Dr Bill Lumsden, said: “To me, this whisky is the epitome of an aged Ardbeg. It somehow manages to balance the complex with the classic. It’s a truly unique bottling and we hope Ardbeggians everywhere look forward to comparing notes with the previous batch. I know I did!”

I absolutely loved the first batch, so let’s see how this new one fares.

Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19yo
Batch 2
Bourbon & Oloroso casks
46.2% ABV
£199 RRP

Nose: Quite medicinal at first, with some first aid box, cough drops and a touch of antiseptic. Then lime peel and lemon pith, along with empty seafood shells and wet sand, with camphor, hickory, and burnt heather. Underneath it all there’s a peat hearth, and aromatic smoke.

Palate: Very much follows the nose, with a medicinal note first – Tiger Balm and elastoplasts – then rock salt, lemon oils, and smoked apples and pears. Some creamy vanilla is balanced by a mineralic note, along with fennel, phenol oils, caraway seeds, and embrocations. That signature aromatic peat smoke underpins everything.

Finish: Coal bunker, some hessian and loads of smoked citrus notes last an age.

Overall: Safe to say it fared pretty well! I had a wee bit of the first batch still sitting on my sample shelves so I was fortunate to be able to do a side by side comparison of both whiskies, and the skew towards more first fill bourbon casks in this second edition is definitely apparent. It’s an excellent follow up to the first batch, but with it being in such high demand you’ll likely need to scour the auction sites to get your hands on a bottle. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Dr. Bill will do for batch three next year.




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