2015 was a big year for the Laphroaig and Ardbeg distilleries, who each celebrated their 200th year. Such a landmark was cause for celebration and Ardbeg did not disappoint. Much was made about the whisky they sent into space, yet the Perpetuum is meant to capture the essential expression of the Ardbeg spirit and thus makes a laudatory dram. The text on the box wraps into itself admirably: “…times change but Ardbeg remains which is why no synthetic nose or tastebuds will ever come close to replicating the skills of our whisky creators and no man-made machine will ever be capable of producing man-made whisky because…”
Location: Port Ellen
Nose: Bacon, peat, seaweed, brine
Palate: Smoke, beef jerky, brine, apple, iodine
Finish: Smoke, bacon, peat, medicinal
Comments: Water is not needed, though a few drops can help if it’s too rough for you.
Adam – I would sit here and sniff this all night if it didn’t taste so good. This encapsulates so much of what I love about Ardbeg as so many elements of what make this distillery great are all brought into balance. It is bold yet smooth, with a finishing warmth that lasts into next week. While the taste profile is not broad, there is an irresistible richness throughout the entire profile. It’s because of whisky like this that I drink Scotch. Peat. Smoke. Brine. This here is liquid glory.
Kate – This is the way I like to finish each evening. It’s my ideal Scotch and a wonderful celebration of 200 years of Ardbeg.
Meghan – I do love an Ardbeg and this year’s special release does not disappoint. It is closer on the family tree to the Ardbeg 10 (and our adored Ardbog) than 2014’s Auriverdes but the Perpetuum is not merely an echo or updated model; it stands on its own. It has a delicious clean smoke and a forest-y freshness. Imagine a campfire made from green wood deep in a pine forest. Then, imagine roasting high-quality sausage or bacon over that fire and you’ll start to have an idea of what keeps me coming back to the Perpetuum. But, since this is the 200th anniversary celebratory bottling, it couldn’t just be all smoke and peat. There is also a delightful sweetness to the palate. Nothing too cloying or overpowering but instead a nice apple or apricot freshness on the front of the tongue. This burst of fruit balances out the other flavors to make it a little more accessible to smoke-newbies. In fact, this could be what baby dragons drink before they fully develop their fire-breathing powers.
Henry – While it’s still the little sister to Ardbeg’s mighty Ardbog, this powerhouse of Islay goodness is the next best thing that I’ve had. Islay’s briny iodine flavours blend seamlessly into the honeyed, applewood-and-maple-syrup bacon sweetness of the malt and the oh-so-smooth peaty smoky mystical magic. This whisky has not so much a finish as a sequel, and yet I’m still crying when it’s over. Over the top? No. Hell no. Bring me some more.
Michael – It’s really enjoyable. I love smelling it. I really enjoy the nose, how long it lingers, and the slight peat finish.