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The Islay Craze

艾雷瘋

There are two recently released whiskies from the Islay which aroused hot discussion among Taiwanese whisky circle, namely Bunnahabhain Mòine Oloroso Cask Strength and Ardbeg Kelpie 2017 Committee Edition. The focusing points of these two whiskies, however, are quite different. The Bunnahabhain mainly deals with the peat and this latest expression of Ardbeg is about rarity. Of course, the comments on both of them are also very polarized.

 

It came a real hit among local whisky lovers even before the new Bunnahabhain was released. The elements of Sherry, peat and cask strength have caught the palates of most Taiwanese. Of course, there were still some people who do not agree with it, and consider it as rather rugged in style, and is even over-speculated.

 

The annually launched Ardbeg Committee Edition is always the focus once released, usually sold out in a few hours following the official website opens the registration.  Comparison are made between the latest edition and the Dark Cove released in 2016. Some people gave the Committee high praise as it performs better than Dark Cove in many aspects while the other feel it is nothing superior than the older edition, with the thought that Ardbeg only create a theme for promoting sale.

 

Of course, as a whisky lover I am happy to see the enthusiastic discussion. I am inevitably going to try Bunnahabhain Mòine and Ardbeg Kelpie, and give my own comments. After all, we must be independent while assessing a whisky. Do not rely on your ears to know a whisky. Rely on your nose and tongue.

 

After my own tasting, I would say Mòine displayed levels of aromas. The peaty nose is backed by some Sherry and raisin notes. On the palate, it is quite salty and bitter. After addition of water the bitter aftertaste is diminished while the savory flavors is highlighted, which reminiscent of the smoky tones attached to your clothing after a barbeque.

 

To me, The Ardbeg Kelpie's overall performs much better than the previous Dark Cove. The hints of seaweed is particularly charming. On the palate it is just like eating a charcoal in an oak barrel, which is tremendously impressive.

 

In terms of the theme, these two newly released edition are both essentially relevant. Considering the price they are both worth a try, but whether you should purchase relies on your own preference rather than the hot discussion among the industry.

 

最近兩款都來自艾雷島的威士忌可以說是紅遍臺灣威士忌的酒友圈,分別是 Bunnahabhain Mòine Oloroso Cask Strength 以及 Ardbeg Kelpie 2017 Committee Edition,這兩款讓人爭相討論的亮點不同,Bunnahabhain 主打泥煤雪莉風味,而 Ardbeg是一年一度的 Committee限量版,當然這兩款好壞評價也是非常的兩極化。

 

Bunnahabhain 這一次可以說是未賣先轟動,雪莉桶加泥煤的風味又是 Cask Strength 裝瓶,直接命中臺灣大多數人對於威士忌的喜好,許多酒友開來喝以後可以說是頗受好評,當然也有一部分的威士忌愛好者則不以為然,覺得這一款Mòine風格上較為粗曠,也有些過度炒作的嫌疑。

 

而 Ardbeg Committee Edition 每一年必定是許多艾雷島迷的追焦點,只要官方網站一開放登記,通常不到幾小時便搶購一空,而此次當然也有許多酒友與2016去年度的 Dark Cove 做為比較,有些酒友覺得整體的表現比 Dark Cove 好上許多而給予好評,而另一部分的酒友則是覺得 Ardbeg 終究表現還是不比以往,讓人覺得只是以主題來銷售酒款。

 

當然,身為威士忌愛好者的一份子,看到大家熱烈的討論,我也免不了想要細細品味去探索Bunnahabhain Mòine以及Ardbeg Kelpie 的整體表現與風味,畢竟我們做任何的討論又或是評論之前,我們都必須真實的去品飲體驗過,這樣才會有自己的想法與感受,不能靠耳朵來認識一款酒或是去評論一款酒。

 

整個品飲完後,Mòine在香氣部分也是有著許多層次變化,主調以泥煤類風味表現為主,當然還有一些像是雪莉桶的葡萄乾等特色風味,入口則是覺得鹹與苦的表現有點明顯,也會有苦尾的感受,但加點水後的表現除了苦感會消失外,更顯那海鹽的風味,鼻腔裡的感受就像聞著烤肉時附著在衣物上的那煙味,久久揮散不去。

 

在Ardbeg Kelpie 的整體表現與風味來說,我個人也覺得比之前的Dark Cove表現要來的好上許多,較為特別的感受是那香氣上會有一點類似昆布或是海苔的味道,而入口也會有一點像是吃到橡木桶裡的炭渣感受,容易讓人有印象與記憶。

 

如果今天以這兩款的主題定位來看,這兩款的風味是與主題相呼應的,以出廠的原始售價可以說是值得一試,但最重要的還是要回到自己喜歡與否,而不是大家熱烈追捧的就一定是好酒,畢竟真正要喝要買這一瓶威士忌是自己,自己想要的才是最重要的。