Ardbeg Corryvreckan

"Not my favourite standard Arbeg, but one that should be on the sherried-peat lovers list "

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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“Corryvreckan takes it name from the famous whirlpool that lies north of Islay” according to the distillery’s website, which should be reflected in the swirling aromas present in the spirit. Compared to Uigaedail, Corryvreckan has seen more of the sherry casks leading to less sweetness and more spices and dried fruits. That is to be expected based on the recipe, we have to see for ourselves, obviously. Although it is still an extremely popular whisky, some say the quality has been going downwards the last couple of years. Well, we might say that for many distilleries and have no choice than to deal with that.

Nose

Initially the smoke is slightly acrid, but within seconds the nose is filled with a mix of bandages, tobacco, cigars and smoked raisins. It becomes fruiter with burned plums, but also ashier with coal. I get a hint of chloride and more toffee. The sherry parts comes more forward and mellows the nose. A clear hint of apricot skin comes forward after a while.

Taste

Smoky sherry. Clearly. Lots of smoked raisins and other dried fruits. Smoked apple and pear skins. Also coal smoke. It becomes sweeter, which seems to be something I find observe more with Ardbeg. Pleasant and a good integration of the sherry with the distillery character. Dried apricots, more apple and a hint of leather. It tends to be slightly acrid and dirty at times, but in general the balance is there. The aftertaste is fairly long, but I think slightly shorter than I found with the other standard Ardbeg I tried in this series.

Overall

I start by saying this is not my favourite one within Ardbeg’s standard range. However, it is still a very decent expression with a good integration of sherry cask influence and the character of the original spirit. This should be in the collection of anyone who seriously loves sherry and peat.

What others say

Whiskybase: 87.29 (60 votes) * @TheWhiskeyJug: 90/100 * @Distiller: 93/100 * Serge Valentin @Whiskyfun: 75/100 (2016 version)
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
60%
Sweet <-> Spicy
45%
  • Smoky raisins
  • Smoked apple skins
  • Coal
Nose 87%
Taste 86.5%
Balance 87%
Depth 86.5%
Finish 86.5%
Score