Whisky Focus - Ardbeg 19 Year Old Traigh Bhan Review

Ardbeg 19 Year Old Traigh Bhan Review

22nd August 2019
Ardbeg unveil the 19 Year Old Traigh Bhan, matured in American oak & Oloroso sherry casks it is the first new age statement expression to join its core range in 20 years.

Ardbeg 19 Year Old Traigh BhanArdbeg today unveiled a new addition to its core range, ‘Ardbeg Traigh Bhan’ (pronounced ‘Tri-Van’). Ardbeg Traigh Bhan is a 19 Year Old expression which takes its name from Islay’s Traigh Bhan which is a small but beautiful remote sandy beach on Islay's west coast, but as alluring as this beach is, it can also be treacherous. Bathing is ill advised in the seemingly tame crystal waters where jagged, volcanic rocks pierce the sands along the shore.

Matured in American oak & Oloroso sherry casks for 19 years and bottled at 46.2% ABV it is said to be a perfect reflection of the place that inspired it, Ardbeg Traigh Bhan is described as seductively smooth on the nose, before sudden, intense and rugged flavour notes come to the fore. Its exquisite taste crescendo is a rush like a surf of salt, smoke, sweet and sour.

It is the first permanent age statement addition to the Ardbeg line up in 20 years and given its age although it is a permanent addition to the Ardbeg range it will be produced in batches with only one new single batch each year.

Each annual batch of Traigh Bhan will feature a unique code on the carton, bottle and foot label and Ardbeg tells me that we can expect subtle differences in flavour profiles each year as they will be slightly tweaking the batch recipe year-on-year and Ardbeg whisky fans will be able to research their batch code at Ardbeg.com for more information on their whisky’s story.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, said: "A new, permanent aged Ardbeg is a rare occurrence, and cause for celebration. We hope that, by slightly tweaking the batch recipe year-on-year, Ardbeggians can have some fun exploring the finer details of this ever-changing dram. As far as taste goes, this 19 Year Old whisky plunges the palate into notes of smoky pineapple and aromatic wood smoke, with a sweet mouthfeel of smoked chilli chocolate and paprika. The intense notes then peter out through a long, smoky finish.”

Ardbeg Traigh Bhan will be available in UK, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Hong Kong, Canada, Sweden, Australia, China, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, USA, Belgium, Dubai, South Korea, Russia, New Zealand & India.

Ardbeg 19 Year Old Traigh Bhan has a RRP of £169 and will also be available from September from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

Ardbeg 19 Year Old Traigh Bhan Review

Review added 2nd September 2019

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Sweet vanilla toffee infused with subtle and charismatic Ardbeg peat smoke and dusted with white pepper, even subtler lemon lurking in the background

Taste: The sweet vanilla and the now not so subtle peat smoke burst onto the palate, filling every corner of the mouth with its smooth, barley sugared sweet, vanilla'd, peaty pleasures. Lemon zest, oak spice, white pepper and a wee hint of liquorice join the party.

Finish: Deliciously long, the peat, vanilla and pepper linger for an age.

Comment: I thought the peat was going to be much tamer on the palate after nosing this but it certainly isn't tame at all on the palate. I recall the old Ardbeg 17, although an outstanding dram it fell just a little short with the peat smoke on the palate so I wondered what this new Ardbeg 19 year old would be like and I am very happy to say that it does not lack in peat smoke on the palate, it is simply a stunning, mature Ardbeg which is packed with peat just as the fans of this dram want. You will need deep pockets to make this your every day dram but if your pockets are deep enough and you are an Ardbeg fan you will not be disappointed.

SMW Score 95/100

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