About Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Year Old 2020 Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Situated along the southern coast of the island of Islay, Ardbeg Distillery was founded in 1815 by the MacDougall family. By the end of the 19th century, nearly one-third of the population of the island was employed at the distillery, which became notorious for producing some of the boldest and most robust Scotch whisky in the industry. Today, the distillery remains a testament to Scottish innovation and heritage.
Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from malted barley, which is peated to approximately 50 phenol parts per million. Once the peated barley arrives at the distillery, it is milled and mashed with water sourced from Loch Uigeadail before being fermented in washbacks made of Oregon pine. While wooden washbacks are more expensive and difficult to maintain as compared to stainless steel washbacks, they absorb a portion of the heat generated during the fermentation process and thus, create a lighter and richer whisky. In addition, the wooden washbacks contribute carbolic compounds to the whisky.
Following fermentation, which lasts for 55 hours, the wash is distilled twice, first through a copper-pot wash still and then again through a copper-pot spirit still. The spirit still is equipped with a purifier, which acts as a small condenser and causes a portion of the evaporating vapors to be pumped back into the pot and then re-distilled. This purification process, which is rare in the industry, results in whisky that has a signature fresh and malty flavor.
The Traigh Bhan (pronounced “tri-van”) is named after a local beach and translates to “the Singing Sands”. Each year’s release has subtle changes in its batch recipe, as well as minor changes in the selection of casks. This is the second release in the series where more first-fill than refill bourbon casks were used, while the level of sherry casks remains roughly the same. Sweet smoke is balanced with savory, brine, medicinal, and spice notes. It has spent 19 years in American oak and oloroso sherry casks.
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Scotch is the most popular whisky in the world and is considered the king of them all! There are five whisky regions in Scotland (six if you count the not officially recognized Islands), and each of them produces spirits with unique properties and distinct tasting notes. (The type of grain used determents the type of the scotch.)
Malt whisky is made of malted barley, and grain whisky uses other grains like corn or wheat. Most of the time, a whisky is blended from different distilleries hence the name blended scotch, but if a malt whisky is produced in a single distillery, we get something extraordinary called a single malt.