Ardbeg Day 2012

A good old tasting note, for a change! I managed to get a sample of this bottling through Mark Dermul (thanks!). I didn’t go to any of the events which with the ridiculous embassy system meant I didn’t get any of the bottles. Luckily I was still able to taste it via this wee sample.

Ardbeg Day is the first of the annual releases for Ardbeg day, which is in line with the Feis Ile on Islay. I didn’t pick up when the next one is going to happen, whether it’s going to be June 2nd  again or just the Festival day every year.

Anyway, the Ardbeg Day 2012 bottling is bottled from sherry casks, but isn’t too heavily sherried if the colour is any indication.


Image from

Rather closed and compact. Slightly floral with smooth peat smoke in the background. Actually, so far all scents are in the background. There’s a bit of salt in there as well. With water it gets much richer with sand, straw. Not as smoky as expected and actually rather crisp.

The flavour is somewhat more sharp with dried flowers, gras and straw. If you give it a while to swim it gets richer again with grilled apples, smoke. Peaty and earthy.

The finish is smooth right away but does give some fruity notes. Orchard fruits like apples and pears, but I also find a somewhat more tropical note in there. Not sure what though.

A tough one to rate, this Ardbeg Day thingy. On one hand you have a very, very good whisky that is a diversion from the sharp and extremely peaty things they’ve done in the recent past. On the other hand it’s also not that spectacular and I don’t think I’ll remember this one half a year from now. I think Ardbeg needs to come up with some 12 year old stuff which they should have lying around by now. A bit more depth would be welcome I think.

I got some left from the sample so I might do a reevaluation soon.

Ardbeg Day 2012, OB, 56.7%, sherry casks, long gone and going for close to € 200 at auctions.

3 stars


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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