Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition / 46%/ –
In 2021 Ardbeg Distillery installed the second pair of stills, doubling its distilling capacity to 2.4 million liters of spirit annually. The year before, the brand sold 1.8 million bottles. It became the third best-selling Islay single malt after Laphroaig and Bowmore. It is hard to believe that back in the 1990s, Ardbeg Distillery was fighting for survival and experienced long periods of closures. Should Glenmorangie not acquire Ardbeg in 1997, some whisky writers would perhaps only mention the brand’s name today. Ardbeg Smoketrails is a new collectible series of limited edition whiskies available from Travel Retail and Distillery Visitor Center. The forerunner to the new range was released in the fall of 2022. It was a vatting of Manzanilla sherry casks and classic Ardbeg American oak casks.
Nose: peat smoke, tarry ropes, pine resin, forest floor, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, sesame crunch, vanilla, mixed herbs, lemon peel, and whiffs of sea breeze.
Palate: roasted nuts and almonds, dark chocolate, vanilla custard, eucalyptus drops, grapefruits, bitter oranges, lemon pepper, dash of sea salt, peat smoke and ash.
Finish: medium long, with notes of peat smoke and ash, sea spray, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, aniseed, leather and oak.