Impressions from Ardbog NYC Release Party

Ardbeg hosted an Ardbog release party at Houston Hall this week. It was a raucous event with generous pours of whisky, food, prizes, henna tattoos and a barber. The people of Moet Hennessy, the parent company of Ardbeg, sure know how to throw a fun release party. Guests had their choice of Ardbeg 10, Correyvrecken and Uigeadail at the bar to pass the time until the Ardbog reveal. The bartenders were pouring liberally, the food was flowing out of the kitchen and people were in great spirits. This was the setting that Moet Hennessy had concocted for Ardbog’s long awaited unveiling.

At 7:30pm waiters distributed tiny green shot glasses containing a few sips of Ardbog. Since the bar was crowded and noisy, a representative from Ardbeg stood up on a table to make a toast. Unfortunately, it was too loud for the rep to properly introduce Ardbog, so he just said “Cheers!” and we all drank in merriment.

My initial impression is that Ardbog is sweeter and lighter than previous Ardbeg releases. Ardbog is a mix of ex-bourbon casks and Manzanilla sherry casks matured for at least 10 years. The sherry influence is readily apparent on the nose – there are also hints of whipped cream and lemons. The palate is briny, citrusy and sweet with light smoke. Overall I’m not totally impressed; the flavors are quite muted for a 52.1% ABV bottling. That being said, I’d like to spend more time with the dram in the quiet confines of an apartment before I pass judgement. Thanks again to all the good people at Moet Hennessy, specifically Katherine White, for putting together a fun-filled Ardbog release event!

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