Ardbeg Heavy Vapours

Ardbeg Heavy Vapours

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The limited release for Ardbeg Day 2023, Heavy Vapours has been distilled without a purifier, which has allowed heavier vapours to be distilled and supposedly create a more robust and heavier Ardbeg spirit. The intentional experiment by Dr Bill Lumsden, was apparently conducted around 2011, giving us an idea of the age of this new release (or at least for a portion of the whisky). Non-chillfiltered and bottled at 46%.

Purifiers, which are only used at a handful of Scotch distilleries, are cylindrical copper pots positioned on the underside of the lyne arm, between the still and the condenser. It allows a proportion of the heavier vapours that have risen up the still to fall into the purifier pot as they traverse the lyne arm, recondensing them back into liquid and returning them to the still for redistillation. This in essence increases the proportion of reflux on heavier vapours, and in Ardbeg's case allows for a heavily peated spirit that is still lighter in style. Purifiers have been used at Ardbeg as far back as their records go. 

Nose: Smoke with a cloying sweetness. Intense, pungent and aromatic, a distinctive farmyard scent along with creosote. Water brings dark chocolate with smoked artichoke.

Palate: Bittersweetness with ashy coal dust and cardamom, peppermint and coffee grounds. Dark chocolate and mentholic eucalyptus with aniseed, cinnamon balls and antiseptic lozenges.

Finish: The aftertaste lingers long and bold, with an almost numbing sensation.


Ardbeg Heavy Vapours Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Heavy Vapours