Well, here it is, the Ardbeg Rollercoaster. Some will drink it thinking of the $90 they just dropped, others will consider that the average age is around 6 or 7. The latter won't be so disappointed.
Nose: Grassy and fresh tar. Decently strong
Palate: Very thin mouthfeel, moldy grass and mint. Asphalt and goat leather. Altogether, just a simple young Ardbeg, very much like Ardbeg Still Young released a few years ago. The finish is fleeting although I'm not sure I'd want it to linger. Disregarding the collectibility, I'd call it a good $25 peater for when you're in the mood. C+/B-
The nose speaks to youth...that somewhat acidic young whisky smell, young and smoky with some floral and grassy notes. The first thing you get on the palate is pure sweetness of the sucking on a sugar cane variety, followed by peat with some corn syrup.
If this is a rollercoaster it's neither a thrill-seeking Six Flags ride nor an elaborately staged Disney creation, but more of the County Fair variety (hawked by the traveling carney that is the Ardbeg Committee), built for simplicity. While fun enough at the time, it's not a ride you'll be talking about the next day.
As a strong disclaimer, I'm tasting this at a very informal tasting right after PC8... and I think it tastes a lot like Port Charlotte, though not as complex (Andy informs me that in a side-by-side they are very different, I'll have to see). Quite in-your-face. Not as hot as I expected given the ABV. Similar to the Supernova (and maybe the Almost There), but less sweet, and "clunkier."
Well, I suppose this lived up to its name. It was a "Rollercoaster" of emotions. I was excited to taste it, disappointed by the taste, and surprized it was pulling down such a high price at auctions.
Clearly young and perhaps before its time. Malty and sharp lemoney notes. Earthy peat adds some depth but not nearly enough. Just not what I was looking for and definately not what I want in an Ardbeg. (So, Dave.....why the B- then?) It was not bad....but after the great Corryvreckan and the Supernova....expectations are higher for these named releases. This one just didn't make it into the higher group. But still an okay malt....but don't buy from auction if you are looking for a great bottle to drink. Collect it for the collectability.
You can smell the youth on this young islay. But that isnt a bad thing. Lots of grassy, foresty notes of evergreen and pine mixed with the young peat. Not great and I didnt stock up but I'm glad I have a bottle.