Ardbeg Kelpie (Committee Release)

Please take into account that these are my personal tasting notes and personal experience, as such you may interpret this whiskey differently from me.

This sample was sent to me by Alistair – known as Spirit and Wood – who takes part in #BlindTastings on Twitter. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram. A big thank you to Alistair for letting me try this.

Now this isn’t the standard release of Ardbeg Kelpie which costs around £96 a bottle, instead this is the Committee Release which was available exclusively to Ardbeg Committee members. Now you can still get your hands on it without being a committee member but you’ll be paying through your nose for it with prices ranging from £252 on Amazon to a whopping £499.99 on The Whisky Barrel! Now I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying it at any of these prices, but if you’re lucky enough to know someone who has a bottle and they offer you a dram you should certainly give it a try.


Bright gold.


Smoke and peat straight away but sweet. Salt and seaweed comes through next and then I get a touch of pine.


Sweet and smokey – Vanilla and dark chocolate mixed with campfire smoke. Nuts, pepper and clove come through next and then right at the end I get an almost citrus note but it’s only faint.


Very long lasting – this one hangs around all night! Smokey, nutty and chocolate sweetness. There’s also something else right at the end, a herbal note that I can’t place.


For anyone who knows me or reads my reviews regularly you’ll know I love peaty drams so it should be no surprise that I love whisky from Ardbeg. This had a lovely mix of sweet and smokey on the nose and palate with some interesting diversions thrown in like the seaweed, nuts and pepper. Unfortunately for me the herbal note I got on the finished ruined the whole dram for me! I couldn’t place it but it just hung around and overshadowed everything else. If it weren’t for that I’d have said it was an outstanding whisky though.


Taken from Master of Malt Website:

Nose: A wonderful, intense, ‘dancing’ nose, with lots of different, intertwined aromas – powerful, oily peat, dark chocolate, smoked fish, hints of seaweed, and a curious, sharp herbal note. Waves of spicy, black pepper. A splash of water brings forth some classic Ardbeg notes, such as creamy coffee, smoked fudge and pine resin. Even some hints of smoked coconut.

Palate: A peppery mouthfeel is followed by a crescendo of rich flavours. Treacle toffee, Turkish coffee, smoky bacon and lots of dark, dark chocolate. A curious burst of peachy, estery fruit, hickory wood, clove oil and a suggestion of black olives on the aftertaste.

Finish: Seemingly lasting forever, with deep, deep, almost subterranean flavours of clove, tar and rich toffee.

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