Malt Advocate Whisky Awards “Scotch Whisky: Single Malt of the Year”: Ardbeg CorryvreckanFebruary 7th, 2010
Ardbeg Corryvreckan, 57.1%, $85
Dr. Bill Lumsden is a brilliant innovator, and he’s the creative mind behind the new Glenmorangie and Ardbeg releases. This new Ardbeg Corryvreckan replaces Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist. (Bill, how about a whisky name that most of us can actually pronounce?)
As you can imagine, the “short list” for this award category was actually quite long, because there are so many great single malts on the market. One of deciding factors for picking “Corry” is that it is part of the new trend in malt whisky (younger whiskies, not chill-filtered, with interesting names instead of age statements). And while there are many whiskies that fit this category (and will be many more over the next several years), Corry is an example of the proper way to do it. It is a relatively young, invigorating, complex, and meticulously cared for whisky.
It’s also powerful, muscular, and well-textured. (I think part of this texturing is that some of the whisky was aged in French oak casks, rather than American or Spanish oak.) Even within the realm of Ardbeg, Corry stands out. The more aggressive notes of coal tar, damp kiln, anise, and smoked seaweed are supported by an array of fruit (black raspberry, black cherry, plum), dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, bacon fat, kalamata olive, and warming cinnamon on the finish. Quite stunning!
Tomorrow’s Malt Advocate Whisky Awards announcement: Pioneer of the Year.