Thursday, 4 August 2011

Less is More? Ardbeg Blasda

I’ve been known to have a certain scepticism of the phrase ‘less is more’. It seems somewhat contradictory, an oxymoron of epic proportions. How can less of something good be better than a larger serving? I know it’s somewhat greedy and selfishly gluttonous of me to be drawn towards bigger rather than smaller portions. Perhaps, I should blame the consumerist nature of the Western world for my egotistical cravings for the extra and the additional. Maybe, I should adopt the more chaste life of a hermit, immersing myself in meditation and a strict diet of grubs and carrot juice? Of course, this being a whisky blog, it took a whisky to show me the way.

This whisky was the Ardbeg Blasda. Having been brought up drinking big smoky whiskies from a moderately young age courtesy of my dad. I’ve always had trouble with most Speyside and Lowland whiskies. So when I read that the Blasda was a less peated Ardbeg (only 8ppm) I was nervous. Like most whisky fanatics I have enormous respect for all of Ardbeg’s output, but the idea of a lighter dusting of peat made me a little nervous, and if I’m honest, a little ill. However, after getting my hands on a bottle I was taught a very important lesson. Less can be more. No longer would I be piling my plate to the ceiling at buffets, no longer would I be cranking my stereo up to eleven and no longer would I judge the quality of a whisky on it’s ppm value alone. For I had been shown the way.

Ardbeg Blasda
40% - No Age Statement
Nose: Apple arrives first with a robust organic smell of bark and floral heather to match. Then comes the cherry lending another fruity dimension to an already full aroma. Finally chocolate éclairs pull up to have a sweet affair with the Blasda’s, finely balanced, lightly peated quality.
Palate: Willow smoke is instantly present with subtle fruits and vanilla. A herbal presence works with the fruit to create a flavour reminiscent of Refresher sweets.
Finish: Vanilla concludes this dram, as it slips calmly down, and slowly falls asleep.
Overall: A real lesson in the virtues of lightly peating a whisky. The Blasda is beautifully pale in colour but retains so much flavour. Ardbeg, as ever, have hit the spot.

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