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From one extreme to the other! The latest release from the iconic Islay distillery of Ardbeg is at the opposite end of the phenolic scale to the Blasda reviewed here in February. Supernova is touted as "the peatiest Ardbeg ever," and boasts a peating level in excess of 100ppm.
According to Bill Lumsden, head of distilling and whisky creation for Ardbeg's owner Glenmorangie, "Supernova was partly a tongue-in-cheek response to Blasda. Some people said about Blasda that 'Ardbeg isn't supposed to be like that!' We wanted to make a lighter, more delicate Ardbeg, and it was chill-filtered to emphasise the softness. Supernova was a response to the critics of Blasda. "We looked at samples from the 1970s, '90s and '00s and that from 2001was the most heavily-peated we could find. We bottled it at full strength. People think of Ardbeg as power, depth and intensity, but this had to have a degree of balance and not just be a big phenol hit. It comprises 70 per cent spirit matured in first fill ex-Bourbon barrels and 30 per cent ex-Sherry casks."

Ardbeg, Supernova (Scotland)
Supernova is un-chill-filtered in true Ardbeg tradition, and offers blatant damp soil, peat smoke, tar, resin and soft fruits on the nose, while the palate is muscular, with a lively and complex mix of spices, chilli, tobacco, peat, sea salt and citrus fruit. The finish is long and features root ginger, black pepper and dark chocolate. A brawny youngster to delight the hearts of Ardbeg purists! 58.9% ABV, 70cl, 80.00, specialist whisky merchants.

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