Ardbeg has unveiled the second batch of its 19 Year Old Traigh Bhan. Last year, the Islay distillery launched the first edition of Traigh Bhan (pronounced ‘Tri-Van’), the first age statement Whisky to join its core range in 20 years.
The 2020 edition of the Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Year Old was matured in American oak and Oloroso Sherry casks. In comparison with last year’s version, it possesses “an altogether more silky-smooth character, thanks to a higher proportion of 1st-fill Bourbon casks, alongside refills and Sherry casks,” says the distillery.
“To me, this whisky is the epitome of an aged Ardbeg,” noted Ardbeg’s Whisky Creator, Dr Bill Lumsden, in a prepared statement. “It somehow manages to balance the complex with the classic. It’s a truly unique bottling and we hope Ardbeggians everywhere look forward to comparing notes with the previous batch. I know I did!”
The series is named after the beaches of Traigh Bhan (pronounced tri-van) on Islay which are known as “the singing sands” due to the noise the tide makes when rushing over the grains. Each Whisky in the range carries its own unique batch code, batch symbol, and signature from one of the Distillery’s famous faces – this year it’s Jackie Thompson, the Distillery Visitor Centre Manager. “The small quirks and originalities on the bottle itself make it highly collectable – something we know our Ardbeg fans love,” said Thompson.
According to the distillery’s tasting notes, the Whisky features aromas of sweet wood smoke and tart crème fraîche which flow gently into bold notes of savoury fennel, celeriac and roasted tea leaves. On the palate, an intensely salty mouthfeel shifts like the tides into soothing medicinal notes, followed by salted peanut brittle, smoked pineapple and lime juice. Waves of aniseed lap over the palate, before rich fudge, birch tar and peat smoke crash down wildly. Savoury and smoky notes collide in a sharp, intense, yet satisfyingly long finish.
Bottled at 46.2% ABV, the Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Year Old (Batch 2) will be priced at £199 in the United Kingdom and $300 in the United States.