Whisky Focus - Ardbeg Anthology The Harpy's Tale 13 Year Old

Ardbeg Anthology The Harpy's Tale 13 Year Old

22nd August 2023
Ardbeg experiments with sweet Sauternes wine casks for the debut offering in its new Anthology Collection - Ardbeg Anthology: The Harpy’s Tale 13 Year Old.

Ardbeg Anthology: The Harpy’s Tale 13 Year Old.Ardbeg distillery known for its smoky malt, has introduced the debut offering from its new and innovative Anthology Collection – Ardbeg Anthology: The Harpy’s Tale 13 Year Old.

Matured for 13 years within a combination of traditional ex-bourbon and luscious Sauternes wine casks which were then married together to create The Harpy's Tale, this whisky is said to unveil a one-of-a-kind Ardbeg expression characterised by a captivating interplay between robust smokiness and opulent sweetness. Paying tribute to this unique 'hybrid' profile, the packaging draws inspiration from the mythical Harpy – a half-human, half-bird creature from ancient legends.

Ardbeg The Harpy’s Tale inaugurates the distillery’s fresh Anthology Collection, which promises a series of experimental single malts showcasing exceptional and rare Ardbeg expressions. Each whisky in this collection matures in cask varieties hitherto unexplored by the distillery.

Dr. Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, said, "We have embarked on a bold maturation experiment to fuse Ardbeg’s signature smokiness with more nuanced, sweeter notes for our new release The Harpy’s Tale – resulting in a very unusual and complex breed of Ardbeg. This is a dram that represents a battle between sweet and smoke – one I believe fans are yet to experience in an Ardbeg dram, and one that I’m sure they will be excited to taste for themselves.

"Collectively, the whiskies in the Anthology Collection will form a legendary, perfectly balanced and delicious series of rare and unusual Ardbegs, rich in both lore and taste. We look forward to revealing more in the Collection in the near future."

Ardbeg Anthology The Harpy’s Tale 13 Year Old has been bottled at 46% ABV and you will need to dig a little deeper into your pocket to taste this one, it has a RRP of £141 and will be available f
rom specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop, Master of Malt and Hard To Find Whisky

Ardbeg Anthology The Harpy’s Tale 13 Year Old Review

Bottled at 46% ABV.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Distinctively oily with touches of extra virgin olive oil, sweet briar wood and aromatic herbs, such as coriander and sage, come to the fore. A gentle suggestion of smoked lemon peel appears for a brief moment. A splash of water reveals more oiliness, with linseed oil and an ever so slight waxiness. A burst of perfumed carbolic soap takes flight, leaving behind it a faint whiff of crème brûlée.

Taste: A soft, oily mouthfeel leads the way into a rich, woody sweetness in dark treacle and balsamic. Hints of oak moss break free as smokier notes begin to emerge. Aniseed lozenges, smoked apricots and eucalyptus oil merge in a unique and contrasting patchwork of flavours.

Finish: Finally, a long and lingering aftertaste of sweetness and smoke. A touch of cumin, cardamon and the merest hint of coconut bring this incredible dram to a close.

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