Whisky Reviews

Ardbeg Blasda


Out driving my Mazda,

I went past an Asda,

I stopped for some pasta,

But spotted some Blasda!

Now home from Asda,

Getting tipsy quite fast(a).

Alright, I may not have a career writing lyrics, poetry or rap (though I do think the above would make a good rap tune, compared to what they’re normally spitting out), I’ll admit! And it may not be true to that I went to Asda nor have a Mazda, but I did recently pick up a bottle of Blasda! Apparently it means “Sweet and Delicious” in Gaelic, more importantly though it’s a light expression of Ardbeg’s otherwise quite heavily peated Whisky.

Blasda caused quite a stir when it was released, disapproving shouts of “This isn’t Ardbeg!” and “It’s too sweet, where’s the peat?!” rang throughout the land of Whisky snobbery. The thing is, those critics completely missed the point of this whisky; this is not meant to be “just another Ardbeg” (if such a thing ever did exist), the point of this expression was to decrease the smoky peaty flavor in order to show the beautiful balance and complexity of Ardbeg’s fruity undertones, flavors which are otherwise difficult to distinguish.  To put this into figures, the ppm of the standard 10 year old Ardbeg is about 23, whereas Blasda’s ppm is a mere 8.

With that in mind, what they have produced is indeed a delicious whisky and one well worth its place in the Ardbeg line-up! As it were, quite a few whisky experts do actually agree with that as well – Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible, gave it no less than 90.5/100 in his 2010 edition. That figure may be slightly higher than I would give it, but he’s not at all far off the mark.

So if there’s virtually no smokiness, what does this whisky have to offer? The slightly peated nose offers hints of freshly squeezed Sicilian lemon (this may be the first sign you’re spending too much time in Waitrose, Sicilian lemon, gee!), caramelized sugar, sherbet and faint touch of wood. The palate, meanwhile, is clean and soft (thanks, in part, to is low alcohol volume at 40%) and deliciously fruity; apples, peaches, tinned ‘cocktail fruit’, a hint of herbs and spice. The spiciness continues on the finish, which unfortunately is slightly too short for my liking.

Color: White wine.

Nose: Light peat, freshly squeezed lemon juice, light smoke, caramelized sugar.

Palate: soft, clean, fruity (apple, peach, cocktail fruit), light herbs and spice. Short spicy finish.

Want to buy this whisky? Available in: USA & World (click)UK & Europe (click)

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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