Whisky Advocate

Ardbeg Kelpie, Tamdhu Batch Strength, and American Born Bourbon

March 10th, 2017

By Susannah Skiver Barton

Ardbeg has announced details of its latest Ardbeg Committee release, while Tamdhu is launching the second round of its Batch Strength edition, and a new bourbon rolls out from moonshine brand American Born.

AB_Bourbon copyAmerican Born Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Proof: 41.5% ABV
Price: $25
Release: March 2017
Availability: Tennessee, Texas, and California to start, and later more states

Need to know: This is a new bourbon from American Born, and comes from an undisclosed source in Indiana. The company is also releasing two flavored whiskeys (35% ABV) at the same time, Peach and Apple. 

Whisky Advocate says: American Born got started as flavored moonshine company but appears to be shifting to a new lineup that includes both flavored and aged whiskeys. Though the source is undisclosed, we’re guessing it’s everyone’s favorite Indiana distillery, MGP.

Tamdhu-BatchTamdhu Batch Strength #002

Style: Single malt scotch
Proof: 58.5% ABV
Price: $90-$95
Release: March 2017
Availability: 24,000 bottles worldwide

Need to know: This is the second release of Tamdhu’s high-proof, non-age statement expression. It’s non-chill filtered and, because it’s a batched product, will vary slightly from #001.

Whisky Advocate says: Though $95 might seem steep for a non-age statement whisky, this one scored a 92 in our Spring 2017 Buying Guide—well worth trying, in our opinion. 

Ardbeg KelpieBottle Front Main

Style: Single malt scotch
Proof: 51.7% ABV
Price: $119
Release: June 3, 2017
Availability: Limited

Need to know: As always, Ardbeg is releasing a special expression for its Ardbeg Committee members, launching on Ardbeg Day during the Islay Festival of Malt and Music. If you can’t make it to the festival, try calling your trusted local retailer to see if they’re getting an allocation.

Whisky Advocate says: Kelpie was matured in virgin casks made of oak grown and seasoned on the Adyghe (or Adygea) Republic’s Taman Peninsula, which is surrounded on three sides by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. “Kelpie” is a type of water demon—the name is meant to call to mind the murky depths of the sea off Islay—so expect lots of briny seaweed notes.

18 Responses to “Ardbeg Kelpie, Tamdhu Batch Strength, and American Born Bourbon”

  1. Ol' Jas says:

    The juxtaposition of the comment “$95 might seem steep for a non-age statement whisky” and the info on the $120 Kelpie is just delicious.

    • Susannah Skiver Barton says:

      Touché! To be fair, I think many people are used to paying that much for Ardbeg Committee releases.

      • Ol' Jas says:

        Yeah, for sure, Susannah. Both prices sound about right in today’s marketplace. As I say, it was just a tasty little pairing of ideas.

        By the way, the posts on this blog with your name on them have been some of the more interesting content around here lately.

  2. Randy says:

    I want to note a correction to your post. This Tamdhu bottling is 58.5%, as indicated on the bottle and container. 58.8% was the proof of batch 1. Just wanted to point that out since it is useful to know for web searches. Batch 1 was excellent, so I’m looking forward to trying this.

  3. According to other sites, the Ardbeg Kelpie was first matured in American Oak QA Ex-Bourbon casks and finshed in heavily charred virgin oak casks made from oak taken from the Black sea region. Is this information correct?

    • Susannah Skiver Barton says:

      Thanks for the comment, Reb! The information we received said “matured,” but we’ve reached out to the brand for more clarification and will let you know what we find out.

  4. I just saw another site that claims that Keplie is a marriage of virgin Russian Black see oak matured Ardbeg spirit and Ex-Bourbon matured Ardbeg. It is not an ACE.

    • Susannah Skiver Barton says:

      Rob, here’s the statement we got from Ardbeg: “Ardbeg Kelpie is whisky is made up of a heart matured in virgin oak Black Sea casks, married with hallmark ex-bourbon Ardbeg. Two different types of casks are married together for Ardbeg Kelpie – ex-bourbon and Black Sea casks. A parcel of Ardbeg is matured in hallmark ex-bourbon casks, and another parcel is matured in virgin oak Black Sea casks. These are then married together to create the end product.”

  5. Vinny D says:

    If I’m dropping a Benjamin, it’s on four bottles of the American Born Bourbon.

  6. Peter says:

    Picked up a bottle of Ardbeg Kelpie Committee edition for $50 yesterday, March 15! Looks like store made a mistake and priced it like regular 10 year old (I did not know anything about this release until i got home). Tastes just like it said it would 😉

  7. Scotsaway says:

    Considering Peter it was only on sale today and from Order at Moet, I doubt you picked up a bottle??

    • Jotterface says:

      The release was a general one to a number of retailers in the USA and unlike us Brits they didn’t have to buy online. So he probably does have one…

  8. Whiskybob says:

    I bought one today at a local liquor store chain in the Chicago suburbs for $119.00. $131.00 after tax. That’s Illinois!!

  9. Whiskybob says:

    Btw, that is not the Committee release pictured above but the June 3 General release at 46%

    • Susannah Skiver Barton says:

      Good catch, Bob! That’s the photo that Ardbeg shared with us, but you’re absolutely right about it being the general release bottle rather than the Committee release.

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