If you have not heard about Elements of Islay, do pay us a little more attention than usual. The Elements of Islay showcases whiskies produced by Islay distilleries. Founded in 2006, it was decided early on that each whisky bottle would not show the age or vintage as the whiskies are meant to be enjoyed by their flavours. It was said that the age statements would run from 5 years to 30 years if age statements are involved.
Each Element of Islay bottle is labelled by its “symbol” but anyone can visit their website to find out the distillery behind each symbol. This works like the periodic table – each element is labelled using a symbol.
We tried the AR1, which translates to Ardbeg. The number 1 simply means that it is the first bottle of Ardbeg bottled by the Elements of Islay. This expression is distilled during the 1990s or 2000s and matured in a hogshead. Let’s get into the review now.
Nose: Fresh, sweet peppers fill the nose, with pleasant, almost floral peat and soft spices. With time, more sweetness emerges and the spice recedes into the background. (18/20)
Palate: Full spice mouth with sweet caramel and some elderflowers. A second sip reveals honey, malt and white pepper covered by an oaky mouthfeel. Hints of peats form as the liquid disappears down the throat. (18/20)
Finish: Long, peaty finish that resembles smoking a mild cigar. Spice is presented with honey to balance off that complex flavour profile of sweet peat and spice. (19/20)
Body: Well balanced whisky! Epic smoky whisky with a good complex profile. You can almost say that it is an Ardbeg body with a Laphroaig nose. (36/40)
Total Score: 91/100
Geek Choc: “This is one of my favourite whiskies to date! That complexity of peat, spice and sweetness just blew me away! If you can get your hands on a bottle, do it!”