Whisky Focus - Ardbeg Anthology The Unicornís Tale 14 Year Old

Ardbeg Anthology The Unicornís Tale 14 Year Old

2nd July 2024
Ardbeg today unveiled the second release in the Anthology Collection, The Unicorn's Tale, a 14 year old single malt which has been matured in a blend of Malmsey Madeira wine casks and bourbon casks.

Ardbeg Anthology The Unicornís Tale 14 Year OldArdbeg Islay single malt whisky today unveiled what they describe as a captivatingly sweet and smoky bottlingóthe second release in its Anthology Collection of rare and unique single malts. Ardbeg Anthology: The Unicornís Tale is the distillery's first whisky matured in a blend of Madeira wine casks and bourbon casks. Aged 14 years, this intriguing limited edition is said to offer smoky-malt enthusiasts a flavour journey with powerful bursts of smoke, and notes of banana, menthol, and lime.

The Ardbeg Anthology Collection features unusual single malts from the distillery, combining classic Ardbeg profiles with experimental stock to create new flavour combinations. Reflecting the hybrid nature of these whiskies, each maltís name and packaging draw inspiration from different mythological creatures rumoured to have been seen on Islay (though such sightings are met with scepticism).

The Unicornís Tale blends the tropical sweetness of whisky aged in Madeira casks with Ardbegís signature zesty, smoky notes, which they say has resulted in a fruity, aromatic, and smoky creation. It follows the inaugural release of the Ardbeg Anthology, The Harpyís Tale, which combined classic Ardbeg with the distilleryís first whisky aged in Sauternes sweet white wine casks.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbegís Director of Whisky Creation, said: "At Ardbeg we love to experiment with how we can push our spiritís smoky balance into new worlds of flavour. Some time ago, we decided to try maturing Ardbeg in unusual cask types for the distillery to create sweet and smoky ĎhybridsíĖ and so the Anthology Collection was born.

"The Unicornís Tale is the second release in this series, which has been created by marrying classic Ardbeg matured in bourbon casks with a parcel of whisky wholly matured in sweet Madeira wine casks. The outcome is a whisky bursting with notes of banana bread and tropical fruit, fused with Ardbegís hallmark flavours of camphor, lime zest and wood smoke. This 14-year-old whisky may appear sweet in nature, but its smoky side is not to be underestimated!"

Ardbeg Anthology The Unicornís Tale 14 Year Old has been bottled at 46% ABV and has a RRP of £130, and it will be available f
rom specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

Ardbeg Anthology The Unicornís Tale 14 Year Old Review

Bottled at 46% ABV.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Rich, sweet, aromatic and fruity, baked banana bread and syrupy sponge pudding fill the senses. Notes of treacle trot into a distinctive suggestion of burning cedarwood. A splash of water releases a bounty of tropical fruits. Eucalyptus oil mingles with soft, aromatic smoke.

Taste: Zesty notes of lime and sweet peaches canter across the palate. A burst of rich smoked fruit and baked bread prance into antiseptic lozenges, creosote, and aniseed. Soft barley malt combines with nutmeg and peat smoke.

Finish: The influence of these rare Madeira casks is undeniable. A whimsically smoky finish welcomes a long and lingering aftertaste of menthol, clove, wood smoke and camphor.

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