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Ardbeg Heavy Vapours Committee Release Whisky 50.2%

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Ardbeg Heavy Vapours Committee Release 50.2%

The Ardbeg Heavy Vapours Committee Release 50.2% is the latest release from Ardbeg for the committee membership. For this release the purifier on the still has quite deliberately not been used. Heavier vapours are allowed to prevail giving darker flavours and notes gathering and playing with the senses. 

This year, Ardbeg released two very different whiskies: one was the amazing "BizarreBQ" which almost everyone I know seemed to love; and also the "Heavy Vapours", a more expensive one, the official committee expression of 2023. The story behind it, is that Dr. Lumdsen took out one of the purifiers from one of the stills, changing the whole density of the vapours that would condensate to turn into Ardbeg's iconic spirit. Of course, the label says that this will make this dram the most "full blown" Ardbeg ever....Bottled at 50.2%abv. On the nose, it starts with a typical Ardbeg herbal peat. Moss and grapefruit juice. A fresh can of new tennis balls and dim ashes. It feels "hairy" on the nose.

On the palate, I get vanilla ice cream, herbal notes, ashes. It is very gentle and a little yeasty; nothing too heavy. The aftertaste is the best part. A very herbal profile. Cotton. Elegant, nice, friendly on the palate. Dry. It actually feels like licking the top of a cooking pot, the condensation feeling here is real. Overall, a very fair, enthusiastic whisky that many will enjoy without too many problems. My score for it is a super honest 88 over 100, which makes it an enjoyable dram.

José Massú
The Whiskritic

View José's Bio


Country Scotland Age NAS
Region Islay Cask No.  
Distillery Ardbeg Size 70cl
Cask Description Ex-Bourbon ABV 50.2%
Year Distilled NAS Shipping Weight 2 Kg
Year Bottled 2023 Description Limited Edition Ardbeg Committee Release

This Islay distillery renowned for it’s peaty whiskies was initially documented way back in 1794. In recent years it’s expressions have won esteemed awards like World’s Best Single Malt and World Whisky of the Year to name just a few. The distillery brought out its peatiest whisky to date in 2009 named Supernova. 


Ardbeg Heavy Vapours Committee Release 50.2%

Official Tasting Notes

Aroma - SMOKE rises with a cloying sweetness. Intense, pungent and aromatic, a distinctive farmyard scent drifts, along with a crunchy aroma, like CREOSOTE or tarry rope. A splash of water disturbs the vapours and DARK CHOCOLATE CREAM billows, laced with a ribbon of SMOKED ARTICHOKE.

Taste - Ardbeg’s UNTAMED darker flavours and notes have risen. A burst of bittersweetness SURGES, disturbing ashy coal DUST and casting a HAZE of CARDAMOM, peppermint and COFFEE grits. CLOUDS OF dark chocolate and mentholic eucalyptus ROLL IN, OBSCURING the fruit and floral notes usually found at the heart of ARDBEG. Wisps of ANISEED twists, CINNAMON balls and antiseptic lozenges FLOAT on the palate.

Finish - The aftertaste lingers LONG and BOLD, with an almost anaesthetising sensation.


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