‘A happy accident’, I’ve read. Or something along those lines. The cynic in me sides with the sceptical masses on this one. ‘Accident’? Really? Come now. Please explain to me how an Ardbeg accidentally gets married with a Glen Moray.
And that is just what this dram is said to be comprised of. 20% 12 year old Glen Moray and 80% older Ardbeg (supposed age varies depending on which source you read).
Sigh. Clever marketing aside…what have we here?
Nose: Syrupy fruits (think canned pears or fruit cocktail with cherry), bubblegum and dinner buns. Odd combination, to be sure, but the notes are all mild and unassuming. It works well. A touch of tame white pepper and salted lemon too. This is a creamy dram, rich in sweet vanilla syrup. Is there peat or smoke typical of an Ardbeg? Undoubtedly. But I’ll be damned if I can detect more than a faint whiff. Lighter even, I’d think, than the recent Blasda. Think old ’70s lightly peated Ardbeg.
The palate is equally smooth and light. Sort of boasts an almost refreshing character. Light white fruit and yeasty, doughy notes are well met by a vanilla woodiness fading into gristy barley notes. Drying and slightly tart. While not as delightful as the nose, the palate is still a charmer. I do have to say…the nose is awesome!
Serendipity is definitely primarily Ardbeg at heart. I can only imagine that the Glen Moray adds a vibrancy to the fruits (and likely some more ooomph to the vanilla influence through newer, more active, casks), but I’d be doing nothing more than speculating as to the true rationale for this marriage.
So…let’s just say this…
It is a vatting (a blended malt, if you will) with a clever gimmick and syrupy sweet name that seriously, seriously does what it was meant to do. Try it if you can find it. And…any out there who know where I can find a bottle…please do not hesitate to contact me.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt