Whisky Review – Ardbeg Supernova 2014

Ardbeg Supernova 2014
55% ABV
Non-chill filtered
Natural colour
~£120 available on 12th September from Ardbeg Embassies.

I missed out on previous Supernova releases so don’t have anything to compare it against, but I am very much looking forward to this new expression from Ardbeg. Recently visited and had a wonderful tour with Jackie. I will be back again, and look out for the write ups of the Islay Adventure…coming very soon. 🙂


Big bellowing smoke. Iodine. Medicinal TCP smoke and full fledged bonfire smoke. Quite breath taking. Behind it. And you have to explore, because there’s an inferno going on. There is citrus, lemons peel and sweetened juices. Floral, heather, cloves. Oil, clean engine oil. Light vanilla. Sweet liquorice sticks, pontefract cakes! Sweet cinnamon buns. Touches of road tar. Very phenolic and very complex. Excellent start! Time in the glass and the smoke drifts slightly to show more of those fruity, oily, sweet back notes that are now coming more forward.


Exceptionally oily feel on this Whisky. Heat from the ashy coals. Saltiness. Tart citrus. But sweet at the same time. Very sweet and sour in variation. Longer into the development and the sweeter it gets. Truly complex development, lots to explore here. Icing sugar, sweet shops, some pineapple juices, some lemon juices. Salty maritime. Oil. Every time I sip I get a variation and something different a little more forward in the palate than the last time. Considering it’s high strength I am finding this very very easy drinking. It’s very fruity now, gloriously so with the peat reek in the background, but the whiff of smoke forever through the arrival and development. Now it’s dirtier, peatier, earthier. Could spend a long time with this, better try some water before it all evaporates in my mouth!


Varying through the finish. Initially on the swallow Lots of fresh sweet grasses and hay. Sweet peat reek. Sweet vanilla. Drying out. Oak, like chewing on the end of a pencil. Sooty ash. Proper filthy in a superb way.

Adding water.

Little splash. The reduced nose now has it’s smoke back, with more tar and saltiness. Sea air glory. Oh. Islay sea air. Miss you….ahem…sorry. Reminiscing. And it was only a week ago. The palate is softer now with some sweeter honey notes, more floral, but then a peat bang still is there in the development. The reek is back, and we’re onto the tropical fruit juices, citrus and sweet grasses again in the finish.


This is a fabulously smoky and complex Whisky. I would really love to know a bit of the ageing behind it, as it does feel quite old in its base, but probably has a bit of a young high peated content to get all that smokiness in there. It’s bringing back fond memories of barely a week ago visiting Ardbeg, spending some quality time savouring quality drams with the enthusiastic and lovely Jackie. This is a fantastic Whisky. Expensive? Yes, a bit. But if you can afford it, or even if you can just about afford it. Get it anyway. It’s awesome.

Thank you to Ardbeg for providing a review sample