The Ardbeg Kelpie

100 ml springboard mini

Tasting notes:
This reminds me of the short-lived special Goth edition Froot Loops.  Lucy strung them on a Christmas tree so austere that it shattered Linus; he now recites from the Necronomicon, and Charlie Brown is a veritable Pollyanna in comparison.  There’s also black pepper, 104% cacao chocolate, and oxtail in a searing vindaloo reduction the color of crow feathers.  Thematically, then, it’s all blackness.  But do I believe this because I read that the oak staves are taken from Black Sea?  Perhaps.

I’ll get to my first impression of the mouth shortly.  The second is that this whisky is so desiccating I want it made into sachets to keep in my Nikon lens bag.  But I fear that it would shrink the lenses until they rattle, uselessly, in the telescoping cylinders.  My first impression is how this drinks up in a fiery way, making this one of the most formidable 46% ABV drams I can remember tasting.  Take that 104% cacao chocolate and smelt it with steel into a hot chocolate you serve to the bullies in Stephen King’s IT, and then you have the idea.  This is blazing.

For me the finish is where the action is on this one.  It’s almost like reliving a trauma, but in a good way.  It’s a trauma appraised after as steady diet of talk therapy, SSRI-uptake inhibitors, and—okay, sure—a few ayahuasca shooters because my yogini badgered me into trying them.  Which is to say, in the bright dawn of better health, you can see the wound from the standpoint of Adam Smith’s impartial spectator.  Here blackness appears as light, despair as an invitation to rediscover hope, and sorrow as the springboard for new joys. 
On the scale of formidable 46’s–
The Ardbeg Kelpie is the Chicago Bears’ 46 defense–Used with devastating effect by Buddy Ryan in the 1980s, the 46 defense was unconquerable.
–Our thanks to David Blackmore and Ardbeg for the sample!

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